The E. coli O145 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has reached Wappinger Falls, New York, which is separated from the town of Poughkeepsie by Wappinger Creek. Early reports were that students from Daemen College, which is located in Buffalo, New York, were the only New Yorkers affected, but the Wappinger School District was, in fact, the unfortunate recipient of the bag of lettuce that actually tested positive for the outbreak strain ofE. coli O145.
Several students within the Wappinger Falls School District were infected by E. coli O145 in the lettuce outbreak. As reported by Emily Stewart of the Poughkeepsie Journal:
District superintendent James Parla said the students received immediate treatment at local health care providers and there have not been any new reports of diarrheal illness in the student population since April 25.
Parla said as of Thursday, there had been two confirmed cases of E. coli, three probable cases and one suspected case. The students go to Roy C. Ketcham High School, John Jay High School Wappingers Junior High School and Van Wyck Middle School, he said.
Fortunately, the exposure period for the romaine lettuce E. coli O145 outbreak is likely over. The CDC states:
Among the confirmed and probable cases with reported dates available, illnesses began between April 10, 2010 and April 26, 2010. Infected individuals range in age from 13 years old to 29 years old and the median age is 19 years. Sixty-nine percent of patients are male. Among the 29 patients with available information, 12 (41%) were hospitalized. Three patients have developed a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic-uremic syndrome, or HUS. No deaths have been reported.
Nevertheless, Freshway Foods, the Sidney, Ohio distributor of the contaminated product, has issued a large-scale recall of all potentially implicated product (which bears a use by date of May 12) in 23 states and the District of Columbia. In a press release yesterday, Freshway said that the E. coli O145 – tainted Romaine Lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, in-store salad bars and delis in Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The affected lettuce has a "best if used by" date of May 12 or earlier. The recall also affects "grab and go" salads sold at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores.