lettuce.bmpThe CDC today released an update on the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak from the fall of 2011 linked to romaine lettuce.

The following information was provided as “Outbreak Highlights:”

  • As of March 21, 2012, 58 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 were reported from 9 states.
  • Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that romaine lettuce was the likely source of illnesses in this outbreak, and contamination likely occurred before the product reached retail stores.
  • This particular outbreak appears to be over and consumers are not being advised to avoid eating any specific foods at this time. However, E. coli O157:H7 is still an important cause of human illness in the United States.

In keeping with their dubious practice, CDC is still not providing the name of the grocery store chain associated with the illnesses- which is Schnucks.   Similarly, the distributor, Vaughan Foods is not named.   In connection with litigaiton brought by Marler Clark, the grower, “Farm A” should be identified soon.

The following are the updated details on the state by state breakdown, timing of illnesses, and other biographical date provided by CDC today:

As of March 21, 2012, 58 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from 9 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows: Arizona (1), Arkansas (2), Illinois (9), Indiana (2), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Minnesota (2), Missouri (38), and Nebraska (1). Two cases were removed from the case count because advanced molecular testing determined that they were not related to this outbreak strain. Among persons for whom information was available, illnesses began from October 9, 2011 to November 7, 2011. Ill persons ranged in age from 1 to 94 years, with a median age of 28 years. Fifty-nine percent were female. Among the 49 ill persons with available information, 33 (67%) were hospitalized, and 3 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths were reported.