Romaine lettuce recall expands amid E. coli fears

More romaine lettuce is being recalled today while federal investigators work to pinpoint the source of an E. coli 0145 outbreak that has sickened 19 people in Michigan, New York and Ohio. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Oklahoma-based Vaughn Foods announced it is recalling lettuce with “use by” dates of May 9 and May 10.

Vaughn Foods sold its romaine lettuce to restaurants and food-service facilities. The company received its romaine lettuce from the same farm as Freshway Foods, which issued a recall of possibly contaminated lettuce last week that had been distributed to businesses in Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The FDA said that that is investigating a farm in Yuma, Arizona, where both Vaughn Foods and Freshway Foods sourced the lettuce.

The contaminated lettuce has sickened 10 people in Michigan, seven in Ohio, and two in New York. Twelve of the victims have been hospitalized, three of them with a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the Centers for Disease Control and prevention said.

Most healthy adults can recover from E. coli within a week, but young children and elderly are most at risk. The condition can cause a triad of symptoms, including kidney failure, in some very young and elderly patients.

Federal health authorities urge anyone who experiences symptoms of E. coli infection to seek medical attention promptly. The symptoms normally include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

The FDA advises consumers to avoid prepared deli salads and salad bars at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh supermarkets.

The recall does not affect romaine lettuce and other types of lettuce and other greens sold by other companies.