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E. coli cases in Illinois

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[September 30, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, is warning Illinoisans about iceberg lettuce distributed by Aunt Mid's Produce Co. The Illinois Department of Public Health has identified Aunt Mid's Produce as the distributor of iceberg lettuce consumed during late August to mid-September by six Illinois residents who have been diagnosed with E. coli 0157.

HardwareThe Michigan Department of Community Health has also identified Aunt Mid's Produce as one of the wholesale processors that sold institutional-sized iceberg lettuce to establishments that served 26 people who were diagnosed with the same strain of E. coli.

Based on preliminary information, the Illinois Department of Public Health is advising restaurants and facilities that purchase large quantities of lettuce not to buy iceberg lettuce distributed by Aunt Mid's. These facilities should also not use Aunt Mid's iceberg lettuce they have until additional information is available.


The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory to test individuals suspected of being linked to this outbreak and to trace where the lettuce came from. Aunt Mid's Produce has voluntarily suspended any processing and sale of its iceberg lettuce product line throughout the United States.

At this time, is does not appear Aunt Mid's iceberg lettuce has been sold in grocery stores.

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E. coli can cause diarrhea, often bloody diarrhea. Although most healthy adults recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure, which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.

People who have symptoms and believe they may have eaten this lettuce should contact their doctor. Health care providers who suspect this strain of E. coli should order cultures and report suspected cases to their local health department.

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]


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