Romaine E. coli Outbreak Kills Five, 26 Have HUS Kidney Failure

You can contact an E. coli lawyer at our law firm if you or a loved one was sickened in the romaine E. coli outbreak that has killed 5 people and given 26 people HUS kidney failure. Most of the people sickened ate tainted romaine lettuce at a restaurant.  Contact our law firm about an E. coli lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or use our free consultation form. Find out if you can sue Panera Bread, Red Lobster, Papa Murphy’s, or Texas Road House for E. coli poisoning.

Five people are dead and dozens are suffering from a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) as a result of the Romaine Lettuce E. coli outbreak, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the last update on May 16, the number of illnesses, hospitalizations and fatalities have all increased.

Contact an E. coli Lawyer representing clients in this outbreak

During that two-week period, 25 more illnesses have been reported- growing from 172 to 197; as have 14 more hospitalizations -from 75 to 89;  six more cases of HUS -from to 20 to 26 and four more fatalities -from one to five. The outbreak has also expanded to include three more states Arkansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma, bringing the total number of states included in the outbreak to 35.

The one death that had previously been reported was in California, now three other states are reporting fatalities: one in New York,  two in Minnesota and one in Arkansas, the state’s only reported case.

The case count by state is as follows: Alaska (8), Arkansas (1), Arizona (9), California (45), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (9), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (10), North Carolina (1), North Dakota (3), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (24), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7) and Wisconsin (3).

Consumers Lacked Useful Guidance During E. coli Outbreak

Weeks ago, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, AZ as the source of this outbreak, but the agency has not been able to further narrow its findings saying “the outbreak cannot be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor.” Multiple processors, grower/shipper companies, and farms supplied the Yuma-grown romaine lettuce associated with this outbreak to restaurants and retailers, the agency said.

Most of the nation’s romaine lettuce is grown in the Yuma growing region during the winter season from November to March or April, then it stops and California growing regions take over producing about 77 percent of all romaine grown in the U.S. between the months of April and November.

After the FDA determined that the lettuce associated with this outbreak was grown in Yuma, the CDC and FDA advised consumers not to eat and restaurants and retailers not to sell romaine lettuce unless they knew it was grown elsewhere. Consumers looking for the “state of origin” discovered that information doesn’t appear on all forms of romaine sold at grocery stores. Adding to the confusion some stores issued recalls, some restaurants stopped serving romaine and some romaine producers issued statements saying their lettuce is not implicated in the outbreak, including one company based in Yuma, AZ.

As the number of illnesses in this outbreak ballooned, romaine lettuce stayed on store shelves and restaurant menus and the advice to consumers stayed the same: don’t eat romaine lettuce that was grown in Yuma, AZ. On April 21, state health officials in Arizona said shipments of romaine grown in Yuma had stopped. Did that mean the romaine at stores and restaurants were selling was grown elsewhere?

Although many people who became ill reported eating romaine lettuce at restaurants prior to developing symptoms, neither the CDC nor the FDA named any restaurants where the tainted greens were served. However, lawsuits filed on behalf of some of those who have been sickened named  Panera Bread and Red Lobster

The E. coli attorneys at Pritzker Hageman are representing clients in this outbreak. If you would like to speak with them about an E. coli illness or death associated with contaminated romaine lettuce, use this online form or call toll-free 1(888) 377-8900. There is no obligation.


Romaine E.coli Outbreak Map by CDC

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Category: Food Poisoning
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