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17 May 2018, 05:12 | Lena Norman
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Since last reported a week ago, 23 people have fallen ill to E. coli, bringing the total to 172 ill people from 32 states.
"According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018 and the harvest season is over", the CDC said. The CDC website for the outbreak recommended that consumers not "eat or buy romaine lettuce unless [they] can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region".
Romaine lettuce has a shelf life of about 21 days.
It's unlikely that anyone now has edible romaine lettuce that's contaminated with the toxic strain of E. coli bacteria sickening people nationwide since March. "Once it was confirmed that the romaine we serve did not come from Yuma, Arizona, we deemed it to be safe for consumption".
Since 1995, there have been 78 outbreaks linked to leafy greens, he said.
The CDC said 20 people had developed a severe effect of E. coli infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Now three more states have reported ill people: Iowa, Nebraska, and OR, the CDC said.
Health officials say there is a lag time of two to three weeks between when someone falls ill and when it's reported to the CDC.
The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. One farm in Yuma has been identified as the source of the lettuce that sickened eight prisoners in Alaska, but FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb revealed Wednesday evening a bit of how complicated the case.
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