"Once it was confirmed that the romaine we serve did not come from Yuma, Arizona, we deemed it to be safe for consumption". The leafy greens industry has shifted to California over the past two months.
The last romaine lettuce shipments from the Yuma growing region, the source of the latest E. coli outbreak, were harvested on April 16.
Unless you know where the lettuce came from, consumers anywhere in the US who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away.
The Center for Disease Control said 23 more cases have been reported in 13 states.
The health department is advising people that if they don't know where their romaine lettuce originated, they shouldn't eat it. Last week, the outbreak was reported in just 29 states.
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"One of the concerns with romaine is it has a relatively long shelf life", Rooney said. Of 157 people with information available, 75 have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure. The outbreak has killed one person and sickened almost 150 others.
In scale, this outbreak is approaching that of the 2006 baby spinach E. coli outbreak that sickened more than 200 people and killed five.
The Food and Drug Administration has been trying to discover exactly where and when the romaine involved in this latest outbreak was contaminated.
The agency continues with its investigation to find the source of the contamination.