Romaine lettuce sold in 23 states
and the District of Columbia may be contaminated with dangerous E. coli bacteria
and has been recalled.
So far, 19 cases of E. coli illness
have been reported in Michigan, Ohio, and New York. Twelve people have been
hospitalised, including three with life-threatening haemolytic uremic syndrome
caused by the bacterium.
Several lines of evidence —
including detection of bacteria in an unopened package of Freshway Foods
shredded Romaine lettuce — point to Freshway Foods wholesale Romaine lettuce
Freshway Foods has recalled all
products containing Romaine lettuce with a use-by date of May 12 or
earlier. These products were sold wholesale to restaurants and supermarkets
under the Freshway or Imperial Sysco brands.
The recall does not include bagged
or pre-packaged Romaine or lettuce mixes containing Romaine. However, the
lettuce may be found in supermarket salad bars and delis.
Symptoms of infection with harmful E.
coli may range from none to mild diarrhoea to severe complications. The acute
symptoms include severe abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, which may be bloody.
Patients may progress to serious complications, such as kidney damage. The FDA
and the CDC encourage anyone with these symptoms to contact his or her health
care provider immediately.
The states in which the lettuce was
sold are Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia,
Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.