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E. Coli Outbreak Prompts Freshway Foods Romaine Lettuce Recall

Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio, has recalled romaine lettuce sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people, three of them with life-threatening illness, according to reports.

On May 5, 2010, the New York state Public Health Laboratory, Wadsworth Center, in Albany reported finding E. coli O145 in an unopened bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine lettuce being recalled, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The recalled shredded romaine lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, and some in-store salad bars and delis in the following areas: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to Freshway Foods.

The recalled shredded romaine lettuce has a “best if used by” date of May 12 or earlier. Freshway Foods advises restaurants, distributors, and retailers to throw out or refrain from using shredded romaine lettuce from Freshway Foods with these “use by” dates.  Freshway Foods is also advising consumers not to eat “grab and go” salads sold in-store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.

FDA investigators are looking at a farm in Yuma, Arizona, as a possible source of the widespread E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce, according to The Associated Press.

Escherichia coli O145 bacteria (E. coli O145) causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, but some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.

Click here for more details about the recall from Freshway Foods.

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