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    Lettuce Recall Grows on E. coli Fears

    Romaine lettuce for foodservice being recalled by various suppliers.

    MOORE, Okla. -- Vaughan Foods, based here, is voluntarily recalling romaine products for foodservice with "use by" dates of May 9 and May 10, as they may contain lettuce from a field possibly linked to a multi-state E. coli outbreak, according to federal officials cited in a Nations Restaurant News report.

    The FDA along with other agencies is investigating the outbreak of E. coli O145, with 19 confirmed and 10 probable cases in Michigan, New York and Ohio, the report stated.

    Last week, Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio, recalled romaine lettuce products for foodservice use under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands, with use by dates of May 12 or earlier. The recalled goods had been distributed in Washington, D.C., and 23 eastern states.

    Lab tests found traces of E. coli O145 in an unopened bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine. Investigators confirmed the E. coli discovered in the unopened bag of Freshway Foods' romaine is the same strain as the E. coli associated with the outbreak, according to the report.

    Federal and state investigators are attempting to determine the point in the supply chain where the E. coli contamination occurred, and are examining a farm in or around Yuma, Ariz., which Freshway Foods' records indicated had supplied the recalled romaine, the report stated.

    The second recall was prompted by the fact that Vaughan Foods received romaine from the same Yuma field, according to the FDA. Lettuce harvested from other geographic areas does not appear to be associated with the E. coli O145 outbreak, the report stated, citing FDA officials.

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