State and local public health agencies in Montana are investigating several reports of E. coli O157 illnesses linked to chopped romaine lettuce sourced from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona.
Three cases in Montana are confirmed to be linked by laboratory testing to a multi-state outbreak and four more are suspected and further testing is pending.
Confirmed and suspected cases have been identified in Missoula, Flathead, Lincoln, and Ravalli counties and include three hospitalizations, according to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services.
The federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says that an additional 35 cases, including 22 hospitalizations, in 11 states have been identified.
Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people may have a low fever, less than 101°F/38.5°C. Most people get better within 5 to 7 days.
Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Most people with a E. coli O157 infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure.
Advice to Consumers:
Advice to Restaurants and Retailers:
The FDA website has a complete overview of the situation, including this summary: