An outbreak of potentially life-threatening E. coli infections linked to contaminated romaine lettuce has widened to 67 cases in 19 states, with 39 of those cases leading to hospitalizations, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No deaths have been reported in the outbreak so far, but six cases have progressed to hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a life-threatening disorder brought on when toxic substances made by an infection destroy red blood cells and damage the kidneys.
The widespread outbreak linked to romaine around Thanksgiving will likely give many consumers an unpleasant sense of déjà vu. About this time last year, the CDC warned consumers to put down their holiday salads as another romaine-linked outbreak struck. When it was declared over in January, the agency had tallied 62 cases, including 25 hospitalizations across 16 states.