5 dead, nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

New York (AP) – Four more deaths have been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted Arizona-grown romaine lettuce, bringing the total to five.

The Arizona growing season is long over and it’s unlikely any tainted lettuce is still in stores or people’s homes. But there can be a lag in reporting, and reports of illnesses have continued to come in.

In an update Friday, health officials said 25 more cases raised the total to 197 illnesses in 35 states. At least 89 were hospitalized.

Previously one death had been reported, in California. On Friday, health officials said they have learned of four more — another in California as well as one each in Arkansas, Minnesota and New York.

Health officials have tied the E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.

Three people have been sickened in Wisconsin.

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