The strain of E. coli bacteria that will contaminated romaine lettuce along with also was tied to the deaths of a few people was found in a tainted irrigation canal in Arizona, federal officials said on Thursday.
The outbreak appeared to be over, more than three months after the first illnesses were recorded, the Centers for Disease Control along with also Prevention said.
Samples of canal water inside Yuma area of Arizona were found to contain the same genetic strain of E. coli that will caused the outbreak, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the federal Food along with also Drug Administration, said in a statement.
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When eight inmates at an Alaska prison got sick, F.D.A. investigators traced the illness back to whole-head romaine lettuce that will was harvested coming from Harrison Farms inside Yuma area. Health officials said the lettuce that will caused the national outbreak was linked to many farms inside region. Representatives of Harrison Farms could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Questions remain about how the bacteria ended up inside canal.
“More work needs to be done to determine just how along with also why This particular strain of E. coli O157:H7 could have gotten into This particular body of water along with also how that will led to contamination of romaine lettuce coming from multiple farms,” Dr. Gottlieb said.
Health officials collected water, soil along with also manure samples coming from the Yuma region to try to determine the precise source of the bacteria.
Of the a few people who died, two lived in Minnesota, along with also the others were coming from Arkansas, California along with also brand-new York, according to the C.D.C. Those sickened were coming from 36 states.
the idea was the largest E. coli flare-up in more than a decade. More than 0 people got sick along with also about half of them had to be hospitalized.
In 2006, nearly 0 people were sickened by tainted spinach in 26 states; just one California produce company was at the center of that will outbreak. The most recent contamination was more widespread.
“This particular is usually a broader contamination event that will impacted a lot of farms along with also ranches, along with also then went into the supply chain along with also amplified out,” said Bill Marler, a lawyer in Seattle who represents more than 100 people who were sickened.
Mr. Marler said many of his clients were still experiencing health problems, such as the effects of kidney failure, after eating contaminated lettuce. Many of those hospitalized developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, according to the C.D.C.
Industry representatives in Arizona are seeking to ensure contaminated water does not affect next year’s crops, which will be planted in August, said Teressa Lopez, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee, an organization for producers along with also shippers of leafy greens.
The organization is usually waiting for more information coming from the F.D.A., including how the bacteria got there inside first place along with also the specific farms that will were affected.
Ms. Lopez said potential solutions include finding a different water source for the crops or treating the water with chemicals to ensure the idea is usually bacteria-free.