Ventura County is among six California counties identified by the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture as possible origins for romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.
Preliminary traceback information released by the FDA on Wednesday indicates that Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties are areas where the tainted romaine was grown.
So far, 43 people have been sickened by the E. coli outbreak with 16 hospitalized, up from 32 ill and 13 hospitalized last week. There are no reported deaths.
The FDA announced Monday that the Central Coast region appears to be the source. This echoed Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales' belief last week that the lettuce originated in either Monterey or San Benito counties.
Romaine grown outside of the Central Coast region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak, the FDA said.
Health officials added that hydroponically and greenhouse-grown romaine is also not related to the current outbreak.
Romaine now entering markets will be labeled with harvest location and harvest date. If produce does not have this information, the FDA is recommending to not eat or use the romaine.