Despite a nationwide recall on romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz. area, lettuce found in Harvard's residential dining halls is safe for consumption, according to Harvard University Dining Services Director of Communications Crista Martin. 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.
In the USA, the infected lettuce has come from the Yuma region in Arizona.
No specific grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified at this time. However, the CDC said unless you can confirm where the lettuce is from, it should be thrown away. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.
Friday broadened a health-related warning regarding infected lettuce, pointing out individuals ought to stay clear of full heads as well as hearts of romaine lettuce which could have originated from the Yuma area of Arizona.
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The different ways that romaine lettuce is harvested could make identifying the specific origin of contamination more hard, Marler said.
Other E. coli cases included in the outbreak have occurred in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, according to the CDC. For some, the illness may include a fever.
As of Wednesday, the hospitalization rate for this outbreak was about 58 percent, much higher than the 30 percent normally associated with infections involving E. coli O157: H7, according to a CDC update sent to clinicians on Thursday. Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include less urination, feeling very exhausted, and losing color in the cheeks.
Forty-one (95%) of 43 people interviewed reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.