Business & Real Estate

Why you should throw away your chopped romaine lettuce

A man harvests romaine lettuce in Salinas in 2007. Chopped romaine lettuce from Arizona is being blamed for sickening 53 people in 16 states, including California.
A man harvests romaine lettuce in Salinas in 2007. Chopped romaine lettuce from Arizona is being blamed for sickening 53 people in 16 states, including California. Associated Press file

The number of people sickened by chopped romaine lettuce tainted with e. coli continues to grow, and anyone who has some should throw it away.

The Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday reported that 18 more people in five additional states, including California, have fallen ill from lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz. This is in addition to the 35 people who reportedly were sickened last week.

In all, 53 people in 16 states have gotten sick, with 31 being hospitalized, according to the CDC. There have been no deaths.

Chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma, a city 185 miles southwest of Phoenix, is suspected to be contaminated with e. coli O157:H7, which can cause diarrhea, kidney failure and, in extreme instances, death. Symptoms, which can take up to eight days after eating to surface, include severe stomach cramps and vomiting. In less severe cases, the average recovery time is a week.

The CDC recommends "consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick."

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