A recent warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that all romaine lettuce in the United States and Canada should be thrown out immediately. This is likely something we’ll see affecting our grocery and restaurant visits in the near future, if you haven’t already.
Due to a dangerous strain of E. coli contamination, multiple states have been affected by the outbreak. The FDA has reported that so far, 32 people in 11 different states have experienced illness from outbreak. Unfortunately, those include 13 hospitalizations.
California has seen the highest number of illnesses – with Connecticut, Illinois Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin reporting cases as well.
In addition to households, the CDC has also said that restaurants and grocery stores should also throw out all romaine lettuce. No matter when it was purchased, or how it was packaged, ALL romaine should be discarded immediately. The CDC also encourages consumers to throw out any lettuce if they are unsure if it contains Romaine, and to thoroughly clean out refrigerators or any other storage units that have stored the lettuce.
A recall has yet to be issued, as the outbreak is currently being investigated and a source of the contamination in the lettuce has not been identified. In an effort to warn consumers before the Thanksgiving holiday, an alert was sent out Tuesday afternoon.
Common symptoms of the bacterial infection include diarrhea, vomiting and severe stomach cramps, which can last up to a week.