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Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Traced to California Farm

The strain of E. coli blamed for an outbreak in romaine lettuce has been found in a reservoir on a farm in Santa Barbara County, California, according to a joint investigation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

December 17, 2018 – So far, at least 59 people have been sickened in 15 states in the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, according to the CDC. The agency said 23 people were sick enough to be hospitalized. Canadian health officials reported 27 cases related to the same outbreak.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has developed symptoms of food poisoning, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

CDC researchers discovered the strain of E. coli bacteria in the sediment of an irrigation reservoir on a farm in Santa Barbara County on the central coast of California, according to CNN. The farm, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc., stopped distributing the lettuce and is reportedly participating in the investigation.

However, not all E. coli infections associated with the current outbreak are attributable to produce from Adam Bros., therefore contamination must also come from other sources, officials told reporters.

“What we are seeing is that several distributors, processors and farms are appearing in the different stages of this analysis, and not all are specific to this farm,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, former acting commissioner of the FDA. “We are not in a position to conclude that this is the only place that could have been involved in the epidemic.”

The current outbreak began in October, and at the beginning, health officials warned U.S. consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce. Late last month, the FDA and CDC said the romaine from 6 California counties was suspect. Now, only 3 counties are involved: Monterrey; San Benito; and Santa Barbara.

Is the E. coli outbreak over?

All other sources of romaine lettuce are probably safe, the agencies said.

“The romaine lettuce that enters the market will now be labeled voluntarily with a harvest place and a harvest date or as if it were grown in hydroponics or greenhouse, if you do not have this information, you should not eat it, or use them,” FDA said.

It is too early to say that the epidemic is over, the agencies said. The diagnosis and notification of sick people can take days or even weeks.

Do I Have a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?

The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in romaine lettuce recall lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new E. coli infection cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has developed symptoms of food poisoning, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

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