Romaine lettuce outbreak tied to tainted irrigation canal - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Romaine lettuce outbreak tied to tainted irrigation canal

Posted: Updated:
(Steve Campbell/Houston Chronicle via AP). FILE - This undated photo shows romaine lettuce in Houston. On Thursday, June 28, 2018, U.S. health officials said tainted canal water appears to be the source of a national food poisoning outbreak linked to r... (Steve Campbell/Houston Chronicle via AP). FILE - This undated photo shows romaine lettuce in Houston. On Thursday, June 28, 2018, U.S. health officials said tainted canal water appears to be the source of a national food poisoning outbreak linked to r...
(Steve Campbell/Houston Chronicle via AP). FILE - This undated photo shows romaine lettuce in Houston. On Thursday, June 28, 2018, U.S. health officials said tainted canal water appears to be the source of a national food poisoning outbreak linked to r... (Steve Campbell/Houston Chronicle via AP). FILE - This undated photo shows romaine lettuce in Houston. On Thursday, June 28, 2018, U.S. health officials said tainted canal water appears to be the source of a national food poisoning outbreak linked to r...
  • NationalMore>>

  • AP Exclusive: Survivor says officials responsible for riot

    AP Exclusive: Survivor says officials responsible for riot

    Monday, July 16 2018 5:43 PM EDT2018-07-16 21:43:38 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 6:17 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:17:28 GMT
    (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP, File). FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del., remains on lockdown following a disturbance. A building at Delaware's maximum-security prison that...(Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP, File). FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del., remains on lockdown following a disturbance. A building at Delaware's maximum-security prison that...
    A state corrections counselor who was taken hostage during a deadly riot at Delaware's maximum-security prison says prison officials are to blame.More >>
    A state corrections counselor who was taken hostage during a deadly riot at Delaware's maximum-security prison says prison officials are to blame.More >>
  • Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

    Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

    Monday, July 16 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-07-16 20:35:06 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 6:17 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:17:18 GMT
    Hawaii officials say an explosion sent lava flying through the roof of a tour boat off the Big Island, injuring at least 13 people.More >>
    Hawaii officials say an explosion sent lava flying through the roof of a tour boat off the Big Island, injuring at least 13 people.More >>
  • Washington Metro workers approve strike amid rising tensions

    Washington Metro workers approve strike amid rising tensions

    Monday, July 16 2018 9:58 AM EDT2018-07-16 13:58:09 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 6:15 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:15:44 GMT
    After years without a new contract, the Washington Metro's largest union has overwhelmingly authorized a strike, just as thousands of tourists arrive in the nation's capital for this week's Major League Baseball...More >>
    After years without a new contract, the Washington Metro's largest union has overwhelmingly authorized a strike, just as thousands of tourists arrive in the nation's capital for this week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game.More >>

By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Tainted irrigation water appears to be the source of a national food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, health officials said Thursday.

About 200 people were sickened in the E. coli outbreak and five people died. The outbreak, which started in the spring, is now over, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The illnesses in 36 states were previously traced to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which provides most of the romaine sold in the U.S. during the winter.

On Thursday, officials said the outbreak strain of E. coli bacteria was found in an irrigation canal in the Yuma area. They are still investigating how the bacteria got into the canal and whether there was contamination elsewhere. They declined to give details about the canal, including its location, until a report can be completed.

"More work needs to be done to determine just how and why this strain of E. coli O157:H7 could have gotten into this body of water and how that led to contamination of romaine lettuce from multiple farms," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a statement.

Earlier, officials tied eight illnesses at a jail in Alaska to whole head romaine lettuce grown at Harrison Farms in Yuma. But they were unable to find a single farm or packaging or distribution site that could clearly be fingered as the source of contamination for the other cases.

The outbreak was the nation's largest E. coli food poisoning outbreak in more than a decade. Most of the people got sick in March and April, but new illnesses were reported as recently as early this month. Some of those who got sick didn't eat romaine lettuce but had been in close contact with someone who did.

The last large E. coli outbreak like this involved spinach grown in California in 2006. Officials suspect cattle contaminated a nearby stream, and wild pigs roaming the area spread it to fields.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly