Number of E. coli cases connected to romaine lettuce grows

This Nov. 20, 2018 file photo shows Romaine Lettuce in Simi Valley, Calif. U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, Calif., Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, as they investigate a food poisoning outbreak. They also say not to eat the leafy green if the label doesn’t say where it was grown. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

(Gray News) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says an additional 27 people have become sickened after eating romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

This brings the total number to 67 people in 19 states infected with the disease. The illnesses started on dates ranging from September 24 to November 14.

The FDA said last week to avoid romaine harvested from Salina, California, and to throw any lettuce away if you’re unsure where it was grown.

A specific recall of Missa Bay salad products was also issued after the Maryland Department of Health identified E. coli in an unopened package of Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Salad collected from an ill person’s home.

The FDA and state partners are trying to determine the exact source of the outbreak, but it appears to be connected to romaine grown in the Salinas region. Salinas is a major growing region for romaine from mid-spring to fall.

The FDA says it is on the ground and investigating farms in the region.
The agency says it’s the same E. coli strain tied to previous outbreaks, including one from last Thanksgiving.

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