1st death reported in E. coli outbreak linked to Arizona lettuce

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This current outbreak is not related to the recent multi-state outbreak of E. coli that had been linked to leafy greens in December 2017.

The California Department of Public Health confirmed one person had died.

A total of 25 states have reported illnesses. Since learning of this outbreak, Produce Marketing Association has been working with the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to understand everything we can about this outbreak and we will continue to do so.

Health officials have reported the first death in connection with a nationwide E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce.

Health experts are advising retailers and restaurants not to serve or sell any remain lettuce from Yuma, Arizona.

Healthy adults usually recover from an infection of E. coli within a week, but some strains can cause more severe illness, especially in young children and older adults, who are at greater risk of developing kidney failure. "The code is good and the idea of the rules is good, but this outbreak shows these rules still need improving, and more research needs to be done in this area to prevent future outbreaks".

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Significantly, CDC also updated the latest illness onset date to April 20. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce, the FDA and CDC advised.

The CDC is investigating the source of the outbreak, and said last week that it has identified at least one farm, Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arizona, that may have been a source of the germ.

Just Salad, which has 28 locations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Chicago, says it saw a spike in business this week after a social media blitz to assure customers that its romaine comes from Salinas, California.

Genetic testing shows that the E.coli strain involved in the outbreak produces a specific type of "Shiga toxin" that causes more severe illness, Wise explained.

Is the romaine lettuce at your local grocer safe to eat? "If you can not confirm the source", the recall notice warns, "do not buy it or eat it".

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