The U.S. epidemic control center and the Food and Drug Administration said the recent nationwide outbreak of E. coli that contaminated the romaine lettuce ended on Wednesday. The authorities have attributed the outbreak to the Salinas Valley growing area in California.
The FDA has lifted a consumer notice to avoid Romaine lettuce from Salinas. “Because the growing season for this region is over and consumers no longer have to be prevented from doing so.” each Romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California region.
The CDC reported that people became ill between September 20 and December 21. Twenty-seven states reported a total of 167 people who were infected with this particular E. coli outbreak strain between the ages of 1 to 89 years.
85 people were hospitalized, 15 of whom, according to the CDC, developed some form of kidney failure known as hemolytic uraemic syndrome. No deaths were reported.
The FDA found that two other separate, smaller outbreaks related to romaine lettuce contaminated with different strains of E. coli were also declared ended. An outbreak associated with Fresh Express salad sets made 10 people in five states sick, and another outbreak in Washington State made 11 people sick.
The FDA says that their investigation of these outbreaks enabled them to limit the supplier to a “single producer with multiple fields” who eventually fell back to at least 10 fields in the lower Salinas Valley. The agency said it would continue to investigate exactly how the contamination occurred and would conduct an “additional in-depth investigation into the causes”.