Update Dec. 20, 2019
The CDC is still advising people to avoid all romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas region of California, and the number of people sickened has grown to 138 across 25 states, including 17 in Pennsylvania.
The latest report on the outbreak says there have been 76 hospitalizations and 13 cases of kidney failure. It said no deaths had been reported.
Posted Dec. 2, 2019
Eight Pennsylvania residents are among dozens of people sickened in an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, according to state officials.
A recent tweet from the state agriculture department alerted consumers that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "are warning of a rapidly spreading outbreak of E. coli, which is highly virulent and causing an abnormally high rate of kidney failure."
The strain has sickened 67 people from 19 states, leading to 39 hospitalizations and six cases of kidney failure, according to the latest CDC report. It said no deaths had been reported.
CDC advises that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California, growing region.
Consumers who have romaine lettuce or packaged foods containing romaine at home should throw it away if it says "Grown in Salinas" or isn't labeled with a growing region, the agency says, and, "If you don’t know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix or wrap contains romaine, don’t eat it. Throw it away."
The FDA said genetic analysis shows the strains in this outbreak are similar to those in fall 2017 and fall 2018 that affected consumers in the U.S. and Canada.
From May to November, about three-quarters of romaine lettuce shipments in the United States come from California’s Central Coast region, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.
The service also noted that in 2017 and 2018 U.S. and Canada outbreaks associated with romaine led to a total of 376 illnesses, 158 hospitalizations, and 7 deaths.
Nov. 22 story with more details