The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have traced an E. coli outbreak in Missouri and nine other states to romaine lettuce from a single farm, the agency said Thursday.
Thirty-seven of the illnesses were in Missouri, the home of St. Louis-based grocery store chain Schnuck Markets Inc., according to The Associated Press. Some of the contaminated lettuce came from salad bars in the store, but CDC said the contamination originated at a farm prior to the lettuce’s distribution to Schnucks, though they did not provide the name or location of the farm.
“What they’re telling us is they have tracked it back to one particular farm,” Lori Willis, spokeswoman for Schnucks, said Thursday.
Though the outbreak is now over, it sickened 60 people from October to November, and hospitalized at least 30. Two developed severe kidney disease. The CDC said the people no longer need to avoid eating lettuce from Schnucks or elsewhere.
The CDC said all affected lettuce came from “a single lettuce processing facility via a single distributor. This indicates that contamination of romaine lettuce likely occurred before the product reached grocery store Chain A (Schnucks) locations.”
The agency said the contaminated lettuce was likely eaten between Oct. 5 and Oct. 24.
People from between ages 1 to 94 were affected, and 63 percent were female. E. coli are a group of bacteria that cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea. Children and the elderly are more likely to become seriously ill.
Read More: http://www.thirdage.com/news/centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention-e-coli-linked-to-farms-lettuce_12-08-2011