E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce reaches GA; nearly 100 people hospitalized in the U.S.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce reaches GA; nearly 100 people hospitalized in the U.S.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A nation-wide outbreak of E.coli that is linked to romaine lettuce has landed in Georgia.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says you should avoid any romaine lettuce and if you have some, throw it away. This outbreak has sent at least 98 people across the U.S. to the hospital, including an Atlanta teen who officials say ate salads from restaurants and bagged romaine lettuce.

The CDC says there is a link to chopped romaine lettuce grown near Yuma, Arizona. Most people get sick from the bacteria three to four days after consuming it. You would then experience severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and low fever.

We reached out to the Georgia Department of Health and they say it's really hard to find the source of an outbreak.

"Even if you tested food for one type of E. coli bacteria, it could be contaminated with a different type. There is no way to tell if you test it before it goes to market that it hasn't been contaminated between the time you tested it and the time you served that food," said Pamela Kirkland with the Georgia Department of Health

This is not bacteria anyone wants to risk. Most people can prevent E.coli by properly handling food and practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands before and after preparing a meal. Rinse off raw fruits and vegetables.

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