E. coli tied to lettuce sickens dozens in 11 states

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

A multistate E. Coli outbreak has sickened 35 people, causing 22 to be hospitalized and three to go into kidney failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people recover in five to seven days. Officials also warned about salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce.

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

The CDC said that no specific brand, distributor or supplier has been identified. "This takes an average of two to three weeks". The earliest reported symptoms began on March 22. Cases of illness showing E. coli symptoms have been reported in Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

"Individuals with this infection usually get better within about 5 to 7 days, however some illnesses can be serious or even life-threatening", Dr. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the state Department of Health, said in a statement. If it is unclear from where the lettuce came from Yuma, do not purchase it, CDC suggested.

Cases have been identified in 11 states so far, including in high-population New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and CT. Some of its types are pathogenic that can cause illness through exposure to contaminated food or water, or contact with animals or other people. Symptoms include vomiting, cramps, bloody diarrhea and a mild fever.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, which has some jurisdiction in these matters, have come under consumer group scrutiny over the timing of outbreak warnings, which are made hard by trying to isolate an E. coli source and because of the short shelf life of leafy greens in particular, meaning that by the time a source is identified, the contaminated food may be out of circulation - except when it's not, say critics.