E.Coli Outbreak Expected to Worsen

Romaine lettuce outbreak has spread to 32 states

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In good news for salad lovers everywhere, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now advising that it is safe to crunch into romaine lettuce once again.

All the cases had been linked to lettuce that came from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

An E.coli outbreak that has sickened almost 150 people in 29 states so far is likely to worsen, according to an update Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of May 15, 172 people in 32 states had been sickened in the outbreak, an increase of 23 people and three states since the last update a week earlier.

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.

"CDC is updating its advice to consumers".

"One of the concerns with romaine is it has a relatively long shelf life", Rooney said.

At least 75 people have been hospitalized, including 20 with kidney failure.

On April 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating an outbreak of E. coli which, according to the CDC website, was traced back to "whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region".

The person became ill about three weeks ago and has recovered, said Phil Rooney, a spokesman for the Douglas County Health Department.

The CDC estimates that foodborne illnesses affect 47.8 million people in the USA every year, putting 127,000 into the hospital and killing more than 3,000.

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