Coles County Health Department joins in message about romaine lettuce risk


The Delaware Division of Public Health is advising people of a multi-state outbreak of E. Coli linked to chopped romaine lettuce. (Yuma is the nation's largest supplier of winter greens such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, kale, and spring mix.) At last report, the FDA had not yet identified the growers, suppliers and distributors of any of this contaminated lettuce.

The Food and Drug Administration has not identified specific farms or companies that grew, supplied and distributed the contaminated products.

The CDC says 35 people in 11 states have been infected with E. coli from the Yuma, Ariz., area.

The New Jersey Department of Health said there are seven cases of E. coli reported in New Jersey. Three people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said in a statement.

The first case was reported on March 22, and six people were taken ill on March 26, the peak day of the outbreak so far, the CDC reported.

Farmers across the state primarily produce butterhead lettuce.

Most people recover within one week. The outbreak does not only affect the local shoppers but the local schools and restaurants that use romaine lettuce in their meals.

The most common symptoms of E. coli infection, according to the Mayo Clinic, include severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.

The previous, fatal E. coli in romaine lettuce incident was in late December 2017 and early January 2018, and the Canadian government issued a recall.

Pinpointing the exact location of the E. coli infection has been hard.

Retailers and restaurants, such as Walmart and Del Taco, have warned customers who may have bought recalled products and removed all salad items from their locations. Two grocery store chains in the Midwest, Schnucks and Giant Eagle, also yanked romaine lettuce from their stores.

In an abundance of caution, Hy-Vee's across the state pulled all Romaine lettuce products from shelves until they can verify where their lettuce was grown.