E. coli infection associated with romaine lettuce has now made its way to North Dakota.
The North Dakota Department of Health says the states first case of E coli has been confirmed and a second case in North Dakota is under investigation and possibly associated.
The romaine lettuce associated was from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
The Department of Health has been working with the CDC and FDA in this national investigation.
As of May 2nd, 121 cases from 25 states have been reported to the CDC, that does not include the current case in North Dakota.
52 cases have been hospitalized and there has been one death.
Common symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Sympotoms typically begin 3 to 4 days after exposure to the bacteria.
“The FDA has stated they cannot be certain that romaine lettuce from the Yuma region is no longer in the supply chain due to the 21-day shelf life,” said Laura Cronquist, epidemiologist with the NDDoH. “Food service establishments and retailers should not sell or serve any romaine lettuce, including chopped, whole heads or hearts, that originate from Yuma, Arizona. Consumers should not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless they can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region.”
To reduce the risk of a E. coli infection, people should:
• Wash fresh produce before consuming it.
• Cook foods to the correct temperature.
• Avoid cross-contamination by keeping ready to eat foods separate from raw meats and poultry.
• Use separate cutting boards for fresh produce and raw meats and poultry.
• Clean and disinfect food preparation work surfaces.
• Wash hands with soap and running water before preparing food, after handling raw meats, and after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
To learn more about the outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/index.html or contact Laura Cronquist, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2378.