CDC expands warning in E. coli outbreak from tainted lettuce

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The E. coli outbreak has infected 53 people in 16 states.

That means any romaine lettuce, including chopped romaine, salad mixes containing romaine, whole heads and hearts.

The Center for Disease Control is warning every American not to buy any romaine lettuce, unless you know for sure it didn't come from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

This warning comes a day after consumers were told to throw away and not eat any chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salad and salad mixes.

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The warning prompted several restaurants in Southern Arizona to stop selling salads temporarily, while others reported they have safe shipments of lettuce and are serving it. No common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified yet, according to the CDC. Or, they can cause the person to develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure that can be fatal. With the additional seven illnesses, that national number is now at 60: Pennsylvania, 12; Idaho, 10; Alaska, 8; New Jersey, 7; Montana, 6; Arizona, 3; New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, 2 each; California, Virginia, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, one each. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown. Restaurants may know, but unless the restaurant can assure patrons that their romaine is not from the Yuma, Arizona area, people should not eat it, the CDC said.

Consumers as well as restaurants and retailers are advised to throw away any lettuce if they can't confirm where it's from. The CDC warning at that time also directed consumers to not eat any romaine served by restaurants or buy any chopped romaine sold in grocery stores unless they were assured it was not grown in Yuma.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Of these afflicted with an E. coli strain, 3-1 individuals are hospitalized. Most recover within one week but there is a chance of kidney failure. Although infections can be intense or even life-threatening, many tend to be clear and mild up within a week.

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