(Meredith) – Experts believe a bad batch of Romaine lettuce is to blame for an E.coli outbreak in 13 states across the country.
Consumers Reports and Today reported that there have been at least 58 people sick and one death from the E. coli outbreak.
Here's a list of the states that have had confirmed cases of E. coli tied to Romaine lettuce:
The outbreak was last reported by the CDC on Dec. 28. At the time, it claimed 17 people were sick in 13 states (which dated back to November).
“The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada. In the United States, state and local public health officials are interviewing sick people to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started. CDC is still collecting information to determine whether there is a food item in common among sick people, including leafy greens and romaine. Because we have not identified a source of the infections, CDC is unable to recommend whether U.S. residents should avoid a particular food.”
Consumer Reports Food Safety Director James Roger told Today that “even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that romaine lettuce is almost always consumed raw.”
It can take weeks to track down the source of food contamination. Foods are shipped nationally and internationally and finding exactly where contamination is coming from is a huge task.
E. coli is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of humans and some animals. Most are harmless, however, some strains of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others can cause urinary tract infections.
Infection from E. coli can occur from even the smallest amount of contaminated foods or beverages. It's common to contact E. coli from the following:
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