On April 10, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a report to warn consumers against batches of romaine lettuce which have been contaminated with E.Coli O157:H7. These batches originate in Yuma, Arizona, but since it is difficult to confirm the exact origins of store-bought romaine, the CDC has urged Americans not to consume any romaine whatsoever. They have also advised that people should throw away their uneaten lettuce, including “whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.”
According to the CDC, more than fifty people across sixteen states have been infected with this particular strain of E.Coli as of April 20. Although there are no reported deaths yet, about ten percent of the affected consumers have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of lifelong kidney failure.
CBS reports that several of the people infected with E.Coli have already filed lawsuits against restaurant corporations that served them contaminated romaine. On this list is Freshway Foods, Inc., owner of popular soup-and-sandwich chain Panera Bread. Panera reported to CBS that they have already resupplied their restaurants with romaine lettuce from regions other than Yuma, Arizona, and customers should not be worried about E.Coli infection. Other restaurants and suppliers have followed suit in order to avoid legal consequences.
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