Romaine lettuce-linked E. coli cases top 100 nationwide

Courtesy: Rainer Zenz CC BY-SA 3.0
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WASHINGTON (WMTV) -- The number of people sickened in an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California, region has reached the triple-digits - and, while the number of states affected has risen, Wisconsin still remains the hardest hit.

According to new numbers from the Food and Drug Administration, 102 cases have been reported across 23 states. Nearly a third of those cases, 31, have been happened in Wisconsin, more than double the next highest state, Ohio, which has recorded a dozen.

Of those 31 cases, ten of them have been reported to the Center for Disease Control in the past week. However, while the cases may not have been recorded the federal agencies, the FDA notes no new illnesses, which started in mid-September, have occurred since November 18.

The outbreak has prompted health agencies to issue the blanket warning about romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California. and to throw any lettuce away if you’re unsure where it was grown.

A specific recall of Missa Bay salad products was also issued after the Maryland Department of Health identified E. coli in an unopened package of Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Salad collected from an ill person’s home.

The FDA and state partners are trying to determine the exact source of the outbreak, but it appears to be connected to romaine grown in the Salinas region. Salinas is a major growing region for romaine from mid-spring to fall.

The FDA says it is on the ground and investigating farms in the region.