[11 May/Food Dive]

The E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from Arizona has sickened 149 people across America. The CDC said the illnesses emerged between March 13 and April 25. Six incidents were also reported in Canada. In contrast, a 2006 outbreak linked to bagged spinach killed three people and caused 199 to become ill. The current outbreak has lasted nine weeks, and the CDC is yet to identify the contamination source or where all the suspect lettuce was grown. They noted that of the 112 affected people who were interviewed, 102 said they ate romaine lettuce in the week prior. The outbreak should serve as a wake-up call to those on the fresh produce supply chain that more must be done to limit food safety problems.