Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak sickens 10 in Minnesota

Published 7:59 am Thursday, May 10, 2018

MPR News Staff

MPR News/90.1 FM

The national E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that ‘s sickened scores of people around the country has found its way to Minnesota.

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Ten illnesses linked to the lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., area have been confirmed in Minnesota, the state Health Department said Tuesday.

“The cases are from both metro and greater Minnesota counties; 90 percent are female. Three cases were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal complication that can include kidney failure and other severe problems,” the agency said in a statement, adding that people became ill from about April 20 to May 2.

Restaurants and grocery stores were among the local sources of the lettuce that sickened people in Minnesota. Health Department officials say they ‘re working with state and national authorities to investigate but urged people to not eat romaine unless they ‘re certain it ‘s not from the Yuma region, which includes part of western Arizona and extends into the Imperial Valley of southeastern California.

Yuma region lettuce should no longer be on sale, but people should check their refrigerators for romaine lettuce that may have been grown there, and don ‘t eat it if the origin is unknown, the agency added.

Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O157 typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever.

People typically become ill two to five days after exposure and recover in five to 10 days. However, some infections can lead to serious kidney problems.

E. coli O157 is not uncommon in Minnesota, with about 135 cases reported each year, the agency said.