The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) advises residents to avoid store-bought chopped romaine lettuce and all salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce. The warning is due to a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157 that is likely associated with chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration
Three cases of E. coli in Arizona have been linked to the multi-state outbreak.
“E. coli can cause serious illness, so it is critical that everyone take precautions by not eating store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, even if you or someone from you family has consumed the product and did not get sick,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “If you or someone from your family recently ate store-bought chopped romaine lettuce and are experiencing symptoms, please seek medical treatment immediately.”
Symptoms of E. coli O157 include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and abdominal pain, according to ADHS. E. coli O157 infection ranges from mild to severe, with symptoms lasting about five to seven days in most people. Young children, the elderly, and the immune-compromised are at risk of developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening illness that can cause kidney failure.
Before you eat lettuce in a restaurant, confirm that the product used to prepare the meal did not include chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region, the CDC and FDA advise.
For more information about preventing E. coli O157, visit ADHS online at www.azhealth.gov.