The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on June 29th that the multistate outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce was over, but federal food safety agencies continue to investigate its cause. CDC laboratory testing recently identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in canal water samples taken from the Yuma growing region.
FDA is continuing to investigate to learn more about how the E. coli bacteria got in the water and how this water could have contaminated romaine lettuce. The outbreak, which started in March, sickened 210 people in 36 states. Ninety-six people were hospitalized and 27 developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Five people died.
The outbreak summary provides more details on the investigation and on antibiotic resistance findings in the outbreak strain.