According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tainted chopped, romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona caused a multistate E.Coli outbreak affecting nearly 60 people from 16 states. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized since March 13.
E.Coli is bacteria that normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. While most strains are harmless, the one found in recent patients, 0157: H7, is a specific strain that can cause serious illness. Symptoms of E.Coli typically begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, although most patients become ill three or four days after consumption. These symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Most people recover in five to seven days. However, those most at risk include the very young, the very old and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Multistate E.Coli Outbreak Traced to Romaine Lettuce
An investigation into the outbreak is still ongoing. Since the CDC hasn’t identified a single brand, supplier, distributor or grower as the source of the romaine lettuce contamination, the agency hasn’t made an official recall. However, the CDC has traced E.Coli 0157: H7 to chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.
Pennsylvania-based Fresh Foods Manufacturing Co. issued a voluntary recall of ready-to-eat salads in clear plastic containers due to the potential for contamination. The 8,757 pounds of recalled salads were produced between April 9 and April 12 and sold in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They have the establishment number P-40211 inside the USDA inspection mark on the package. Due to the four-day shelf life, the products should no longer be available in store.
The multistate E.Coli outbreak has affected 16 states. Pennsylvania has reported 12 cases so far, the highest number of any state. Idaho comes in second with 10. New Jersey, where the first case was reported last month has had seven cases so far. In Montana six people have fallen sick, while Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington have reported three or fewer.
The last reported case dates back to April 6. However, the CDC said anyone who has ingested contaminated products after March 29, might not have reported it yet. The gap between when someone gets sick and when he or she reports it to public health agencies can be up to three weeks. About 53 people are sick in 16 states since March 13. Doctors hospitalized 31 and 5 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which causes life-threatening kidney failure.
E. Coli is bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans. The CDC estimates the bacteria causes 2,000 hospitalizations each year. Plus, 10% go on to develop more serious complications like hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can cause kidney failure, damage to the central nervous system, and ultimately death.
This is why it is important to seek representation if you are a victim of the multistate E.Coli outbreak or any foodborne contamination. An experienced attorney like those at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm can help you receive compensation for your losses. We have over 20 years representing injured consumers and will use every avenue to get you justice.