May 13 2010 UPDATE –The Centers for Disease Control has announced that a fourth state has confirmed E. coli illnesses linked to tainted romaine lettuce. Tennessee is the latest state to report a case of E. coli 0145, which has already sickened people in Michigan, Ohio and New York. The number of confirmed illnesses has risen to at least 23, the CDC reported.
May 10 2010 UPDATE – Last week's romaine lettuce recall has expanded to include Vaughan Foods romaine lettuce with "use by" dates of May 9 and May 10, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The lettuce was sold to restaurants and food service facilities.
Investigators have confirmed that 19 illnesses in Michigan, Ohio, and New York are linked to the lettuce. Twelve people have been hospitalized, and three have developed a potentially fatal complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, the FDA announced.
Health investigators have also cited the outbreak as the "probable" cause of 10 other illnesses in the same states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
May 07 2010 ORIGINAL ALERT – Freshway Foods is recalling lettuce sold in 23 states, including Pennsylvania. The lettuce is thought to be responsible for an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people.
Romaine lettuce sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands is included in the recall. The Food and Drug Administration is focusing its attention on lettuce grown in Arizona as the possible source of the outbreak. The lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, in-store salad bars, and delis and has a "best if used by" date of May 12 or earlier. The recall also includes "grab and go" salads sold at Giant Eagle, Kroger, Ingles Markets, and Marsh grocery stores.
The lettuce was sold in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
E. coli food poisoning can lead to mild symptoms like diarrhea or more severe complications, including kidney damage. The CDC said the strain linked to the Freshway lettuce, E. coli 0145, is more difficult to identify and may go unreported. Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State in Columbus, and Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y. are among those who have fallen ill.