According to the Food and Drug Administration, the recalled lettuce has caused 19 people to become sick and 12 to be hospitalized, three of whom have life-threatening symptons. The FDA is looking into 10 other possibly related cases.
The lettuce recall was issued after the New York State Public Health Laboratory in Albany discovered a contaminated bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine lettuce on Wednesday. Local authorities had been investigating the outbreak for several weeks after students at the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and Daemen College got sick.
The recalled lettuce, under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands, has a "best if used by" date of May 12 or earlier. "Grab and go" salads sold at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores have also been recalled. Freshway Foods said the recalled lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, in-store salad bars and delis.
It was sold in Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Freshway Foods did issue a statement on Thursday, saying that an extensive FDA investigation had not uncovered any contamination at their plant in Sidney. The FDA is looking into lettuce grown in Arizona as the source of the contamination.