Coli outbreak from romaine lettuce reaches Kentucky


The Yuma region - which includes farms across the Colorado River in southeastern California - grows the overwhelming majority of the lettuce and other leafy greens consumed in the United States in the winter months, but the industry begins shifting to California's Central Valley and Salinas Valley in the second half of March and early April. 52 people have been hospitalised and 14 of them with kidney failure among the sickened people.

The CDC also added Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah to the states with reported cases.

The baby spinach E. coli illness outbreak in 2006 that sickened 205 people and five of them died.

The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. The halt in production is in response to the worsening E. coli outbreak linked to romaine - an attempt to reduce the potential for exposure to the contaminated vegetable.

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Eve Plews, A local nutrition counselor stresses one way you can kill that E. Coli bacteria.

"I'm not buying any whatsoever and I'm not even getting a salad at a restaurant that has romaine lettuce in it", said Liverpool resident Debbie Dillabough. But investigators have not specified when and where that lettuce became contaminated with the risky bacteria, and the farm has not been linked to other cases.

"This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30%".

The discovery of this farm does not, however, account for most of the illnesses related to this outbreak - the majority occurred after eating chopped romaine. As a result, the CDC has reissued their ban on romaine lettuce, so don't eat any unless you are certain it did not come from that area. California has the most number of cases with 24, followed by Pennsylvania with 20 and Idaho with 11.