E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce spreads to Florida

NEW YORK (AP) — Four more states are reporting illnesses in a food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its numbers on the outbreak Wednesday, revealing that 149 people in 29 states had gotten sick.

It’s unclear if new illness are still occurring. There’s a lag in reporting from the time when a person becomes sick with E. coli and when it is reported to the CDC; the most recent illness began two weeks ago.

“Romaine lettuce has a shelf life of several weeks, and contaminated lettuce could still be in homes, stores, and restaurants,” the CDC said on its website.

Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas have joined the list of states reporting at least one E. coli illness linked to the outbreak.

At least 64 people have been hospitalized, including 17 with kidney failure. One death, previously reported, occurred in California.

Health officials have tied the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which provides most of the romaine sold in the U.S. during the winter.

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