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US food safety alert: Update on the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

The FDA, along with CDC and state partners, is investigating farms and cooling facilities in California that were identified in traceback. CDC has identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in sediment collected within an agricultural water reservoir on an Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. farm, which was identified in traceback.

The Santa Maria farm linked to a recent romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak voluntarily recalled two varieties of lettuce and cauliflower harvested at the end of November. Adam Bros. Family Farms is one of eight Central Coast growers the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating in connection to tainted lettuce that may have caused a nationwide E. coli outbreak.

The CDC is advising that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce harvested from Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara counties in the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California.

Some romaine lettuce products are now labeled with a harvest location by region. Check bags or boxes for a label indicating where the lettuce was harvested. If the romaine lettuce is not labeled or if you cannot identify where it is from, do not buy, serve, sell, or eat it.

Seven additional people have been reported since the last update on December 6, 2018. This brings the total to 59 cases from 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Twenty-three people have been hospitalized, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 5, 2018 to November 16, 2018. We expect to see additional illnesses reported due to the 2-3 week time period from when a person gets sick to when it is reported to CDC. This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.



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