The romaine lettuce E. coli scare appears to be nearing the end of its shelf life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 23 more people from 13 states grew ill due to E. coli linked to the contaminated romaine lettuce. However, the organization notes that a combination of factors means the update is likely not a cause for concern.
Romaine lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, meaning the contaminated food is likely no longer available in stores or in people’s homes, since the last shipments of lettuce were harvested on April 16. And, while more people were reported sick from the E. coli contamination, the CDC adds that it takes two to three weeks for people to get sick after being exposed to E. coli, meaning the newly reported illnesses likely originated when the contaminated lettuce was still in stores and restaurants.
In total, 172 E. coli illnesses linked to romaine lettuce have been reported so far — 75 of those people were hospitalized and one person died.