CDC Investigating E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Lettuce–Updated 11/26

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Atlanta, GA—CDC has posted a notice of a multistate outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 infections.

The source of the outbreak has not yet been determined, but ill people in Maryland have reported eating Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad, and E. coli 0157 has been detected in an unopened package of the Ready Pac Bistro salad collected from a sick person’s home in Maryland. Lab testing is being performed to determine if the E. coli found in the salad is genetically similar to the E. coli found in sick people in this outbreak. Ill people in other states have not initially reported eating this particular salad.

17 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from AZ, CA, CO, ID, MD, MT, WA, and WI. Seven hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Do not eat or sell Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salads with a “Best By” date of October 31, 2019.

People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3-4 days after ingesting the germ. Common symptoms include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most people recover within a week, but illness can last longer and be more severe.

UPDATE 11/26: The outbreak has been traced to romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California region. Consumers should not eat romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, CA. They should not eat salad products produced by Missa Bay, LLC, produced between October 14, 2019, and October 16, 2019, as their Ready Pac Bistro Bowl was implicated in the outbreak. If consumers have romaine either grown in Salinas or without the growing region labeled, they should discard it, as should retailers and restaurants.

Romaine grown outside the Salinas region and hydroponically- or greenhouse-grown romaine are not implicated in the outbreak.

The case count has increased to 67. The most recent illness onset date is November 14, 2019.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because of the outbreak that happened last year. For a recap of the completed investigation, go here, and for info on how lettuce producers reacted, go here. 

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