Wisconsin residents sickened by contaminated romaine lettuce

Posted at 1:36 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 19:20:16-04

NEW YORK (AP) -- The food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has spread to three more states.

Health officials on Friday said they now have reports of 98 cases in 22 states, with the addition of Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The outbreak is blamed on E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.

Nathan Tietz, store manager at Piggly Wiggly says the outbreak isn't affecting sales at Sheboygan Piggly Wiggly stores. He says their romaine is from Salinas, California—so they’ve been selling it all month.

“I think the best thing to do is you know wherever you buy your groceries, just ask questions just to be safe,” Tietz said. “Obviously customers are concerned, they have the right to be. A pretty serious situation.”

Wendy Cantrall says when it comes to her salads, she’ll be staying away from all types of lettuce.

“Everybody should be concerned with it being an issue, it’s not good for anybody's health obviously,” she said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the bacteria strain behind the outbreak tends to cause more serious illnesses. Forty-six people have been hospitalized, including 10 with kidney failure. The most recent illness began a week ago. No deaths are reported.

Health officials say people shouldn't eat romaine lettuce unless they know it's not from Yuma. Every winter, the Yuma region provides most of the romaine sold in the U.S.