May 28, 2024

Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 HUS Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce Grows to 98 Sick

Lawsuits have been filed, as the multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 HUS infection linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region has grown to include 98 sick. Three more states have reported ill persons: Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

E coli O 157-H7 HUS Romaine Lettuce Outbreak 42718

Forty-six people have been hospitalized in this outbreak. Ten have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious and potentially life-threatening type of kidney failure that can develop as a complication with this type of infection.

Fourteen more ill persons have been added to this outbreak since the last update two days ago. The case count by state is: Alaska (8), Arizona (5), California (16), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Georgia (1), Idaho (10), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (18), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), Washington (5), Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from March 13, 2018 to April 20, 2018. The patient age range is from 1 to 88 years. Fifty-three percent of patients have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage for any E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

This is now the largest E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak since 2006 in the United States. Matthew Wise, the deputy branch chief for outbreak response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the New York Times, “This is a serious E. coli. Everybody should be concerned.” He added that this is a particularly aggressive form of the bacteria.

The FDA has identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arinzoa, as the grower and sole source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened people at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, Alaska. But the other 90 illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms.

Most of the patients said they ate romaine lettuce in a salad at a restaurant. Romaine lettuce is the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten by those who got sick. The restaurants used bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.

So for now, the CDC is telling consumers to not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Since product labels do not usually identify the growing regions, don’t buy or eat romaine lettuce if you don’t know where it was grown. This advisory includes whole heads, hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

Pritzker Hageman law firm helps people sickened by food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and other pathogenic bacteria get answers, compensation and justice. We fiercely protect our client’s legal rights. Our lawyers represent families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against grocery stores, food producers, shippers, dairies, restaurants, retailers, and schools. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome because of an E. coli infection.


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