Metro health officials confirm E. coli case linked to lettuce

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The Douglas County Health Department has confirmed one case of E. coli O157:H7 related to the outbreak in romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, region.

The person who was sick consumed lettuce at several locations. The Health Department may never be able to pinpoint the specific source of the infection.

The person has recovered.

The CDC says 172 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 32 states.They say 75 people have been hospitalized, including 20 people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. One death was reported from California.

The department offers this advice to consumers:

  • Avoid buying romaine lettuce unless you can confirm the source is other than the Yuma growing region. Since romaine lettuce has a shelf life of several weeks, it is possible some contaminated lettuce may still be in stores, restaurants, or home refrigerators.
  • Since product labels often come without the identification of the growing region, we suggest you pass on romaine lettuce if you are uncertain about where it was grown.
  • This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and any salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you cannot be certain a salad is free of romaine lettuce, do not eat it.