Romaine lettuce e. coli contamination source narrowed – Romaine Lettuce E. coli Lawyer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating the source of e. coli contamination in romaine lettuce that first became evident when consumers reported illnesses in early April 2018. Investigators have identified the source of the lettuce itself as the Yuma, Arizona, growing area and are conducting traceback investigations to attempt to identify the source of the e. coli.

The investigation has been hampered by the fact that the growing season is over and none of the contaminated romaine lettuce remains on grocery store shelves or is being served in restaurants. Any food safety issues that may have contributed to the issues would no longer exist in the growing or supply chain.

However, FDA investigators now believe that the contamination likely occurred during growing or harvest – there is no evidence it occurred at ta later stage in the supply chain. So far, the FDA has not been able to identify any common distributors among the grocery stores and restaurants that sold or served the contaminated romaine lettuce. If the contamination happened during a later stage in the stream of commerce,there would be a point at which all the tainted product came together at a focal point, such as the same packaging or delivery company.  The FDA has identified no such commonalities.  Therefore, the FDA believes the contamination must have happened at or near the Yuma growing area, including during its growing or harvest. The FDA is exploring a theory that an environmental contaminant may be responsible, since the lettuce was grown on multiple farms in the area.  These could include contaminated water, workers that were sick who worked multiple fields, or another environmental source that was wide-spread in the region.

To date, there are 197 cases of reported illness related to the romaine lettuce that was contaminated with e. coli, in 35 states: Alaska (8), Arkansas (1), Arizona (9), California (45), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (9), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (10), North Carolina (1), North Dakota (3), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (24), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (3).

Five deaths have been reported from Arkansas (1), California (1), Minnesota (2), and New York (1).

If you are a victim of the romaine lettuce e. coli contamination outbreak, please contact the food poisoning lawyers at 1-888-335-4901 to talk to a Romaine lettuce E. coli lawyer  and learn more about your legal options.