CDC continues to investigate other potential sources, and urges consumers not to consume romaine lettuce grown in Monterey, San Benito or Santa Barbara counties until the investigation is completed.

“We cannot say how many cases are linked to this specific farm at this time,” said Ian Williams, head of the CDC response and outbreak prevention arm. “We need to do additional work on this farm and on other farms identified by our inquiry.”

Romaine properly labeled, grown outside these three counties and harvested after November 23, as well as romaine grown in a greenhouse or in hydroponics, must be protected from contamination, CDC said. The previous warning against romaine consumption was lifted in the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Ventura in California.

The agency noted that consumers should continue to avoid any romaine lettuce without a clear date and location of the harvest.

Since December 6, CDC has identified 7 other E. coli infections, bringing the total number of people infected with E. coli to 59 in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The last reported illness was on November 16. There were 23 hospitalizations and two cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

While calling it “premature” to call the outbreak over, Williams said it was a good sign that the most recently identified cases were in the same period as the main outbreak.

“We hope this goes in the right direction,” he said. “It’s still too early to say.”

The first cases of this outbreak were identified in October. Cases have been reported in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Source: FOX News

Posted by Ray Simon

Ray Simon is a veteran copywriter with more than a decade's worth of experience in the field. He studied journalism at Vanderbilt University, graduating Cum Laude in 2007. Ray currently specializes in writing content and news articles for independent publications.