Five dead, nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

Four more deaths have been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted Arizona-grown romaine lettuce

Four more deaths have been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted Arizona-grown romaine lettuce

However, the lettuce from that region is past its shelf life and is likely no longer being sold in stores or served in restaurants, the FDA said.

Health officials have tied the E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. The new CDC report announces four more deaths - one in Arkansas, two in Minnesota and one in NY. At least 89 people were hospitalized. In a June 1 advisory, the agency said that four additional deaths were reported in Arkansas, North Carolina and NY in addition to the original death in California.

The first illnesses occurred in March, and the most recent began on May 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC also noted that some people who became sick had not eaten romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who get sick from eating it. That being said, the CDC continues to investigate the outbreak and warned that new cases from May could still come to light due to a three-week lag in reporting.

Numerous new cases were people who became ill two to three weeks ago, when contaminated lettuce was still being sold.

Meanwhile, government authorities are still trying to figure out how and why the outbreak happened.

After the initial outbreak, the CDC issued a warning on romaine lettuce.

According to the latest statement from the CDC, numerous people affected fell ill two to three weeks ago, when the contaminated lettuce was still on shop shelves.

The CDC has not pinpointed the exact source of the outbreak, but the lettuce appears to have been contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, a particularly unsafe strain of the bacteria.

The recent E. coli outbreak is the most severe to hit the US since 2006, when three people died in an outbreak linked to uncooked spinach.

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