CDC food safety alert: ‘Don’t eat, serve or sell ANY romaine lettuce’

File Image: U.S. Centers for Disease Control

ATLANTA, Georgia, Nov. 20, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Do not eat, serve or sell any romaine lettuce. Period.

That’s the stern advisory issued Tuesday by Centers for Disease Control in the wake of an outbreak of toxic E. coli infections which have sickened 32 people in 11 states, 13 of whom were hospitalized.

Nineteen others have been stricken in Canada.

At least one U.S. victim suffered a life-threatening form of kidney failure, although there have been no reported deaths.

“Do not eat, serve, or sell ANY romaine lettuce while our investigation continues,” the CDC advisory said. “This includes whole heads of lettuce, hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, organic romaine and salad mixes with romaine.”

“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said.

“This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.

“Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce,” said the CDC, “including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.”

Scientific evidence from the United States and Canada indicated that romaine lettuce is a likely source of the outbreak. It also showed those who have recently fallen ill were infected by E. coli bacteria with the same DNA fingerprint as the strain that caused a similar outbreak in 2017, according to the CDC.

So far E. coli outbreaks have been reported in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

In Canada outbreaks have occurred in Quebec and Ontario.


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