The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning urging people who bought chopped romaine lettuce to throw it away immediately because it could make them sick.
Eighteen more cases of E. Coli were reported since the CDC's last update on April 13.
Consumers are warned to throw away any chopped romaine lettuce purchased at stores as it may contain risky E.coli bacteria.
"Illnesses that occurred after March 29, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported", the CDC said. With the additional seven illnesses, that national number is now at 60: Pennsylvania, 12; Idaho, 10; Alaska, 8; New Jersey, 7; Montana, 6; Arizona, 3; New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, 2 each; California, Virgina, Washington, Illinois, Missiouri, Louisiana, one each.
Because most consumers don't know if their romaine lettuce came from Arizona, Consumer Reports suggests people avoid all romaine lettuce sold in stores and restaurants, along with bagged romaine lettuce mixes and prepared salads, just to be on the safe side. According to the Alaska Department of Health, the state's eight E. coli cases were among inmates at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome.
So far, the CDC said no common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified in the outbreak at this time. Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
No deaths have been reported yet. If you're not sure if the lettuce is romaine, throw it out.
Symptoms of this strain of E. coli include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is often bloody, officials said.
Of those who have been sickened, at least 31 people have been hospitalized, including five who developed a type of potentially life-threatening kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The agency recommends that people across the United States stay away from chopped romaine lettuce.