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Lettuce Suspected in US E. Coli Outbreak


U.S. health officials say they believe lettuce may be the source of an E. coli outbreak among patrons of the Taco Bell fast-food chain in the northeastern United States.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday that among the 71 reported cases, lettuce was the food item that most victims reported eating. But experts say more tests are needed to be sure that was the source.

A federal food-safety official, David Acheson of the Food and Drug Administration, said it was difficult to single out the source of contamination because many Taco Bell dishes contain the same ingredients. Last week, green onions were suspected to be the cause, but testing disproved that theory.

Taco Bell President Greg Creed has released a statement saying Taco Bell has changed its produce supplier for that region and assuring consumers the chain's food is safe.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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