"A food company is recalling 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 symptoms," the Associated Press writes. The lettuce was not packaged in bags sold directly to consumers. Instead, it went to supermarket salad bars and restaurants.
The AP adds that "the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that 12 people had been hospitalized and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was looking at 10 other cases probably linked to the outbreak. Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio, said it was recalling romaine lettuce sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands."
According to the company, the recall covers "romaine lettuce with a use-by date of May 12 or earlier." The products:
"Were sold to wholesalers and food service outlets in the following states east of the Mississippi river: 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. The recalled romaine products were also sold for distribution to in-store salad bars and delis for Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores in the states listed above."
Freshway says that "consumers who purchased romaine from in-store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores in the states previously listed should throw the product away."
The FDA, according to the AP, " is focusing its investigation on lettuce grown in Arizona as a possible source for the outbreak, according to two people who have been briefed by the agency." As the wire service also notes:
"E. coli infection can cause mild diarrhea or more severe complications, including kidney damage. The three patients with life-threatening symptoms were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys."