UPDATE: CDC confirms first death due to Yuma E coli outbreak

UPDATE: CDC confirms first death due to Yuma E coli outbreak
An E. coli outbreak has sickened 35 people across 11 states and is linked to chopped romaine lettuce.
(Image: Taylor Farms)
(Image: Taylor Farms)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce from Yuma, AZ, continues to grow worse.

On Wednesday, May 2, the CDC confirmed that one California resident has died due to E. coli contamination.

According to the CDC, 23 more people from 10 states were added to the list of reported illnesses since the last update on April 27, bringing the total to 107 cases from 29 states.

Eight of those cases were reported in Arizona.

The outbreak originated in seven states and initially applied only to bagged lettuce.

Now, the recall applies to romaine lettuce in any form, unless customers can prove it didn't come from Yuma.

"This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine," the CDC's release said.

The recall is impacting many restaurants and grocery stores.

Louise Fraser, a 66-year-old New Jersey resident, is now suing Panera Bread and their produce supplier, Freshway Foods, after she was allegedly hospitalized and suffered a form of kidney failure after eating a salad from the popular restaurant chain.

The highest concentrations of cases have been in the Northeast, in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; and in Northwest, in Idaho, Washington and Montana.

On Tuesday, April 17, Sam's Club started contacting customers about a recall involving several variations of chopped salads distributed by "Taylor Farms."

The CDC advises that anyone who has purchased romaine lettuce not to eat it and throw it out – even if some of it was eaten and no one became ill. This warning includes salad mixes that include romaine lettuce.

Most people get sick from E. coli three to four days after consuming the bacteria. Signs include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Yuma, which is about 235 miles west of Tucson, bills itself as the "winter lettuce capital" and hosts an annual Lettuce Festival.

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