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Elliot Olsen’s experience representing people sickened by E. coli spans decades, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member became ill after eating Yuma-grown romaine lettuce, please call (612) 337-6126, or complete the following:

Minnesota is the latest state to be added to the list of states affected by the E. coli outbreak attributed to Yuma-grown romaine lettuce.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed 10 cases, 90 percent of which are females. Three of the 10 victims were hospitalized, and two of them developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal complication that can result in kidney failure and other long-term problems (see below for more on HUS).

The MDH reports that the illness dates range from April 20 through May 2. The cases are from both the Twin Cities metro area as well as outstate Minnesota.

Yuma-grown romaine lettuce:
North Dakota news hit Friday

Last Friday, the North Dakota Department of Health announced that it had confirmed one illness and is investigating a potential second case.

State epidemiologist Laura Cronquist told the Williston Herald that the department is urging North Dakotans to be cautious. “This should be a concern to all North Dakota residents,” she said. “Lettuce from the Yuma growing region was potentially distributed throughout the North Dakota area.”

The department did not provide details about the confirmed case.

Yuma-grown romaine lettuce:
No update from CDC – yet

The Minnesota and North Dakota cases have not officially been added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics on the nationwide E. coli outbreak. The CDC’s last update, posted May 2, put the totals at 121 cases in 25 states, with 52 victims hospitalized and one death (California). At that time, the CDC also reported that 14 victims had developed HUS.

Outbreak victims nationwide range in age from 1 to 88, and the median age is 29. Sixty-three percent of national cases involve females. The dates of illnesses range from March 13 to April 21.

Yuma-grown romaine lettuce

Minnesota is the latest state to be added to the list affected by the E. coli outbreak attributed to Yuma-grown romaine lettuce. The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed 10 cases: Three victims have been hospitalized, and two have developed HUS.

Yuma-grown romaine lettuce
no longer being produced

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported last week that romaine lettuce is no longer being produced and distributed from the Yuma growing region in Arizona, reducing the potential for exposure to E. coli-contaminated romaine.

Because of romaine’s 21-day shelf life, however, the FDA said it cannot say for sure that Yuma-grown romaine lettuce is no longer in the supply chain.

The FDA and CDC have been investigating the outbreak with assistance from multiple state departments, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Yuma-grown romaine lettuce:
Best to avoid romaine, says CDC

The CDC has been advising consumers for weeks that if they have purchased romaine lettuce in any form – whole heads, hearts, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salad mixes containing romaine – they should throw it away or return it where it was bought.

The CDC went on to say that if you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, throw it away, and if you insist on purchasing romaine, make sure it is not Yuma-grown romaine. If you cannot confirm that, do not buy it or eat it.

Yuma-grown romaine lettuce:
Facts and figures about E. coli

There are many strains of E. coli bacteria, and they are one of the most common causes of foodborne illness year in and year out. The strain causing this E. coli outbreak is Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7. It is also known as E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O157, STEC O157, or even simply O157.

Anyone can become infected by E. coli, but people with the greatest risk of becoming severely ill include the very young and the very old, and people with compromised immune systems.

E. coli produce symptoms similar to those of other foodborne illnesses:

  • diarrhea, which often can become bloody
  • severe abdominal cramping
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever, and subsequently, fatigue
  • no appetite
  • decreased urination.

Most people recover without needing medical attention, but complications can result, producing dangerous consequences.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
About 10 percent of E. coli cases turn into HUS, which can become life-threatening. The large majority of HUS cases involve children younger than 5; HUS is the leading cause of acute kidney failure for that age group.

HUS typically develops after diarrhea persists for longer than a week. The bacteria severely damage red blood cells, and that can clog the kidneys’ filtering system. If that happens, kidney failure can be the result, and a kidney transplant often is necessary.