Santa Maria farm tied to romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

Santa Maria farm tied to romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has narrowed in on three California counties linked to an E.coli outbreak in romaine lettuce.

Romaine lettuce harvested after November 23 anywhere other than California's Monterey, San Benito and Santa Barbara counties does not appear to be affected by the current outbreak, the FDA said.

It does not appear that Adam Brothers' lettuce is responsible for all of the outbreak's 59 illnesses in 15 states, officials said. Farms in Santa Barbara County tested positive for the bacterial strain and the owners are co-operating with USA officials.

The CDC said areas where the contaminated lettuce may have been grown are from California's Monterey, San Benito and Santa Barbara Counties.

In an official statement released Thursday, the FDA has ruled out romaine lettuce from Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz Counties.

Though contaminated irrigation water was also found to be the source in an outbreak earlier this year linked to E coli from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, he said the current situation is different, because the irrigation canal was used by many different farms. No deaths linked to the outbreak has been reported.

The CDC and FDA continue to urge consumers, restaurants, institutional kitchens and retailers to avoid romaine if its origin is not clearly visible on labels. Some cases can be life-threatening, causing kidney failure and seizures.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are also coordinating with United States agencies to investigate a similar outbreak there.

"We're hopeful that it's moving in the right direction", Williams said.

"What we are seeing is there are multiple distributors and multiple processors and multiple farms that show up in the various legs of that traceback and they don't all lead back specifically to this farm", said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, Senior Advisor to the FDA commissioner.

"If you do not know where the romaine is from, do not eat it", the CDC said on its website.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Adam Bros.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

This positive sample was collected by the FDA and analyzed by the CDC and determined to match the outbreak strain of E. coli through Whole Genome Sequencing analysis, the most precise DNA analysis available.

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