At least 10 people in Idaho have been sickened this week by consuming romaine lettuce that contained E. coli bacteria — more than any other state except one, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now federal officials are expanding their warning to consumers: Do not eat any romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm that it is not from Yuma, Arizona.
That means any romaine lettuce, including chopped romaine, salad mixes containing romaine, whole heads and hearts.
"Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick," the CDC says on its Web site.
The warning was expanded Friday, after an outbreak of illness in Alaska. Eight inmates at the Nome jail were affected, but none were hospitalized.
That brings the tally of those sickened to 61 people in 16 states around the country, with 31 people hospitalized.
People become ill two to eight days after ingesting E. coli, though three to four days is typical. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting.
For some, the illness will be mild. But for others, it could be deadly.
Kidney failure can occur, typically in children under 5 or seniors over 65. That may not happen until after a week and the diarrhea is improving, the CDC says. Five of those hospitalized with the illness have developed kidney failure.
Symptoms include: decreased urination, fatigue and losing the pink color in the cheeks and lower eyelids.