The E.coli outbreak in romaine lettuce has been linked to a single water reservoir on a farm in California.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration identified sediment from a farm as being the source for the November outbreak.
The CDC reported that the farm in question is owned by Adam Bros. Farming Inc., located in Santa Maria, California, about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Santa Barbara County is one of three California counties, along with San Benito and Monterey, that the CDC is advising consumers to avoid when choosing romaine lettuce. Some romaine products are now being labeled with their harvest regions.
In addition to romaine, the farm's website notes that it produces red and green leaf lettuce, celery, cauliflower and broccoli.
Adams Bros. Farming is also recalling red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested between Nov. 27 and Nov. 30 “out of an abundance of caution, because it may be contaminated” with the same strand of E. coli that was found in the earlier romaine, according to a statement it released on Thursday.
“The recall was initiated after it was discovered that sediment from a reservoir near where the produce was grown tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Filtered and treated water from the reservoir may have come in contact with the produce after it was harvested. None of the filtered, treated water has tested positive for E. coli, all E. coli tests returning negative,” the farm said in the statement.
All told, there have been 59 reported cases in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized.
Two individuals developed a type of kidney failure, though the CDC did not disclose the states where those individuals were located.
California and New Jersey had the most reported cases.
The illnesses were reported between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16.