More E. coli cases connected to romaine lettuce in NJ
There are now seven cases in New Jersey connected to an E. coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California growing region.
The CDC the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a warning in November against consuming any wraps, sandwiches, prepackaged salad or other product containing romaine lettuce harvested from the region. The warning includes any whole heads of romaine, organic romaine and hearts of romaine.
An update of the investigation said there are now 102 reported cases in 23 states related to the outbreak, with 58 people requiring hospitalization. Ten people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
The CDC said it continues to look for the source of contamination and if additional products are linked. No specific brand or farm has been identified by the CDC.
The New Jersey Department of Health said one case was previously reported in Camden County with two new cases in Burlington and Ocean counties and one each in Atlantic and Cumberland counties. There are no confirmed cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome in New Jersey, according to the Dept. of Health.
The CDC suggests checking for a label indicating where the lettuce was grown or asking when eating at a restaurant.
"If you do not know the source of your romaine lettuce, and if you cannot obtain that information from your supplier, you should not serve, ship, or sell the product," the CDC warned.
While most people recover within a week, some develop hemolytic uremic syndrome. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, and in older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency care immediately.
An outbreak a year ago was traced to Adam Brothers Farming in Santa Barbara County, California. It resulted in 62 cases in 16 states including 13 in New Jersey. None of the case were fatal. The recall resulted in many retailers removing romaine lettuce products from their shelves for several weeks.