Update – Montana has 8 ill and Arizona 3
- The FDA is investigating an outbreak in multiple states of coli O157: H7 diseases likely related to cut romaine lettuce from growth in winter areas in Yuma, Arizona.
- The CDC reports that 35 people in 11 states have become ill. These people reported that they became ill during the period from March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. Twenty-six (93%) of the 28 people interviewed reported consuming Romaine lettuce the week before their illness began. Most people reported having eaten a salad in a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads that were eaten. The restaurants reported that they used chopped romaine lettuce to make salads. At this time, sick people do not report whole heads or hearts of Romans.
- Preliminary information compiled by the FDA, along with federal, state and local partners, indicates that the minced romaine lettuce that the sick people ate had probably grown or originated in the winter growing areas of Yuma, Arizona. No specific producer, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified at this time.
- The FDA recommends that consumers request restaurants and other food service establishments where their romaine lettuce originated, and avoid cut romaine lettuce that originated in Yuma, Arizona. If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it. If you have already purchased products containing chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salads, salad mixes or prepared salads, throw them away.
- The FDA continues to investigate this outbreak and will share more information as it becomes available.
- Consumers who have symptoms of STEC infection should contact their healthcare provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Although many infections resolve in 5-7 days, they can cause serious illness, which includes a potentially serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
- The current outbreak is unrelated to a recent multistate outbreak of coli O157: H7 infections from November to December 2017 related to consumption of green leafy vegetables. People in the previous outbreak were infected with a DNA fingerprint different from E. coli O157: H7 bacteria.
What is the problem and what is being done about it?
The FDA and the CDC, together with state and local health officials, are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin production E. Coli infections O157: H7. There are 35 cases in 11 states: Connecticut (2), Idaho (8), Illinois (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (9), Virginia (1) and Washington (1). The 35 diseases occurred in the time period from March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. The current outbreak is not related to a recent outbreak of multiple states of E. coli O157: H7 related infections with green leaves. People in the previous outbreak were infected with a DNA fingerprint different from E. coli O157: H7 bacteria.
Preliminary information compiled by the FDA's Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) network, along with federal, state and local partners, indicates that the prepared, chopped romaine lettuce that people ate probably grew or originated in the winter farming areas in Yuma, Arizona. This region generally supplies the US. UU During the months of November to March of each year. No specific producer, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified at this time. Currently, the FDA does not have information indicating that romaine lettuce or roman hearts have contributed to this outbreak.
CORE continues to work with federal, state, and local partners to determine what people ate before they became ill. , where they bought and consumed it, and to identify the distribution chain of these foods, all with the objective of identifying any common food or points in the distribution chain where the food could have been contaminated.
In a typical tracking effort, the CDC and the FDA identify groups of people who became ill, especially in different geographic regions, and work to trace the foods the sick people eat to a common source. In situations where there are no containers available for the suspect or informed product that can help track, FDA scientists and researchers work with federal and state partners and companies to collect, review and analyze hundreds, sometimes thousands, of invoices. and shipping documents. This process requires a lot of manpower, but it also depends on the availability and quality of the records.
What are the symptoms of E? coli O157: H7 Infection?
Symptoms of Shiga toxin production (STEC) E. Coli infections vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. If there is a fever, it is usually not very high (less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit / less than 38.5 degrees Celsius). Most people improve within 5-7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are serious or even life-threatening.
About 5-10 percent of people diagnosed with STEC infection develop a life-threatening complication, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).  Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include fever, abdominal pain, feeling tired, decreased frequency of urination, unexplained small bruises, or bleeding and pallor. Most people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die. People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical attention immediately. People with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys can stop working (acute kidney failure), but they can also develop other serious problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease and neurological problems.
Who is at risk?  People of any age can become infected with the production of Shiga toxin (STEC) E. coli . Children under 5, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop a serious illness, including HUS, but even healthy older children and young adults can get very sick.
What should restaurants and retailers do?
Retailers, restaurants and other food service operators must not sell or serve any chopped romaine lettuce from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona. If you can not determine the source of your chopped romaine lettuce, do not sell it or serve it. Currently, the FDA does not have information indicating that romaine lettuce or roman hearts have contributed to this outbreak.
Retailers, restaurants and other food service operators should always take measures to avoid cross-contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with potentially contaminated products. Retailers, restaurants and other food service operators should always take measures to adequately control the temperature of cut green leafy vegetables and to avoid cross-contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with potentially contaminated products. To avoid cross contamination, you should follow the steps below:
- Wash and disinfect showcases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
- Wash and disinfect cutting boards, surfaces and utensils used to prepare, serve or store potentially contaminated products.
- Wash your hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitizing process.
- According to the FDA Food Code 2017, cut green leafy vegetables, including romaine lettuce, require time / temperature control refrigerated at 41 ° F or less.
Frequent and frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and utensils that come in contact with food can be used to prepare food. ?
Consumers should ask retailers where their romaine lettuce comes from and not eat or buy chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona.
If you have already purchased products containing roman minced lettuce, such as salads, salad mixes or prepared salads, throw them away and do not eat them.
At this time, the FDA does not have information indicating that whole romaine lettuce or romaine hearts have contributed to this outbreak.
Consumers should always practice safe handling and preparation measures. It is recommended to wash hands, utensils and surfaces with hot water and soap before and after handling food.
For refrigerators and other food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have been in contact with contaminated food, it is very important that consumers thoroughly clean these areas and items.
Consumers should follow these simple steps:
- Wash interior walls and refrigerator shelves, cutting boards and countertops; Then disinfect them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine in a gallon of hot water; Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- Clean spills in the refrigerator immediately and clean the refrigerator regularly.
- Always wash your hands with hot soapy water after the cleaning and disinfection process.
- People who think they may have become sick from eating potentially contaminated foods should consult their health care provider.
Who should be contacted? ?
People who think they may have symptoms of a E. coli infection should consult their healthcare provider.
Marler Clark, the food safety law firm, is the leading law firm in the nation representing the victims of outbreaks of E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Marler Clark's E. coli attorneys have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne infections and have recovered more than $ 650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on litigation of foodborne diseases. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated cases of E. coli and HUS derived from sprouts of ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts and other food products. The law firm has filed lawsuits against E. coli against companies such as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill and Jimmy John & # 39; s. We have proudly represented victims like Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.
If you or a member of your family became ill with an E. coli or HUS infection after consuming food and you are interested in filing a legal claim, contact Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for an evaluation of free case