Food Safety Magazine

News | January 10, 2019

CDC Declares Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak Over

By Staff

CDC Declares Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak Over

As of January 9, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared the most recent Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to California grown romaine lettuce over. 

The investigation, which involved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Canadian health officials, and several public health officials, identified Adams Bros. Farming, Inc. in Santa Barbara County, CA, as the source of the outbreak. The farm subsequently recalled their red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cauliflower--all harvested around the last week of November 2018. The earliest illness, however, dates back to October 7, 2018.

CDC identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in sediment collected within an agricultural water reservoir on the Adam Bros. farm in Santa Barbara County, which was identified in the traceback investigation.

In total, there were 62 confirmed illnesses in 16 states, and the District of Columbia. Twenty-five people had to be hospitalized for their symptoms. No deaths have been reported in connection to this outbreak.

FDA says that contaminated romaine that made people sick in this outbreak should no longer be available on the market. Still, the agency will continue its investigation into potential sources and contributing factors that led to the outbreak in order to inform future prevention efforts. 

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