Do not eat romaine lettuce — CDC warns

Romaine Lettuce Warning: Throw Away All Heads of Lettuce Because of E. coli Illness Fears, CDC Says

- Nine of the 32 people across the country who were sickened by an E. coli infection linked to romaine lettuce are Los Angeles County residents, public health officials said on Tuesday.

"It's still early in this investigation and work remains to pinpoint the source of contamination that contributed to this outbreak", Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated on November 20. The advice includes all types of romaine lettuce including salad mixes that contain romaine.

According to the CDC alert, there have already been 32 reported cases of E. coli linked to this outbreak across 11 states.

The US public should avoid eating romaine lettuce, warned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The outbreak is considered completely different from the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak that swept the United States earlier this year, as the E. coli bacteria have a different fingerprint.

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Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick. The outbreak is mostly concentrated around the Northeast, Midwest, and California, but the CDC says everyone should heed the warning until more information becomes available. As of Tuesday, the grower, supplier, distributor and brand of the infected lettuce is not known, the CDC said. "Of those, 13 have been hospitalized, with one patient suffering from a form of kidney failure".

Restaurants and businesses should not serve or sell people the lettuce, regardless of where or when it was grown. The source of that outbreak was never precisely identified. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest from handling, storing and transporting the produce, including at the grocery store, in the refrigerator, or from counters and cutting boards through cross-contamination with harmful bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood.

The FDA clarified that this strain of E. coli is unrelated to the strain from the outbreak earlier this year. At least six people have been hospitalized as a result of the infections, and one individual suffered from a severe complication after becoming infected with E. Coli. The agency is conducting an investigation to trace the contaminated lettuce that made people sick to the bacteria's source.

Sheila Lowrie, a spokeswoman for the Kansas grocer says "romaine lettuce and products containing romaine are being removed from sale as soon as possible until further notice".

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