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The FDA has suggested that a possible source of March’s E. coli outbreak, which traveled via bacteria-contaminated romaine lettuce, was a cattle feedlot near where the lettuce was grown.
The outbreak caused 210 illnesses, 96 hospitalizations, and fives deaths across the 35 states it impacted.
While the FDA has confirmed that canal water near the farms was contaminated with E. coli, the organization is now examining the hypothesis that the original source was a cattle feedlot situated near a number of romaine lettuce plots.
The Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) can house up to 100,000 cows at a time – and while the FDA has not stated that it is the definitive source, examination is ongoing.
However, this spring, the animal agriculture industry was definitively linked to an E. coli outbreak in France.
Fourteen children were infected – all under the age of five – with one suffering kidney failure and an untimely death.
In this case, the illness was traced back to contaminated cheese.