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Local restaurants take precautions in biggest E. Coli outbreak in the U.S in 12 years

Local restaurants are on high alert after the recent recall of romaine lettuce.

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 11:18 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2018 11:32 PM

UTICA -- Local restaurants are on high alert after the recent recall of romaine lettuce.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says the newest romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak is the biggest outbreak in the United States in 12 years.

Since the outbreak began, the CDC alerted distributors in order to prevent more tainted lettuce mixes from being sent out.


Some concerns were raised about local bars and restaurants serving romaine lettuce.


Local restaurant owner Sam Tornatore is the owner of Babe's Macaroni Grill & Bar. He says he's very careful about where he buys produce.


Two of his top vendors were alerted of the E. coli outbreak weeks ago.


Tornatore wants to assure customers that none of the lettuce the restaurant received came from the original source of the outbreak.

"As soon as the outbreak became public, these two sources were already ahead of it,” Tornatore said. “In fact, I would guess they knew before anybody knew. And now the consumers are all hearing about it, and it's still an epidemic, and it's still out there because there's product that is being handled that got shipped around and somebody may have it in a different state, and they say oh, now it's broke out in another state. But the source of the problem has already been remedied. They know where it was. Now they're just trying to find where this product, if there's any more left, went."

The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against eating all romaine lettuce.


Health officials say the E. coli outbreak has grown, affecting 84 people throughout the U.S.


Forty-two people have been hospitalized, including nine that are battling kidney failure.

Officials say they have not yet identified the source of the tainted lettuce but they do know it is from the Yuma, Arizona region. There haven't been any local cases of E. coli reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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