The crisis of an E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak in romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona is not over. On May 2, 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first death in California.
The updated statistics include 121 people sickened in 25 states. At least 52 have been hospitalized including 14 with kidney failure. The rate of hospitalizations is considered unusually high.
While the growing season for romaine lettuce ended in Yuma more than a month ago, cases are still being reported. It’s a classic case of crisis management for growers trying to communicate that the entire romaine lettuce crop should not be tarnished now that production has transitioned to California.
Officials from the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement have issued a news release providing advice to consumers, retailers and restaurants. See page 2 of the May issue of The Grower for details.
For up-to-date reporting on the E.coli situation, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/index.html