Romaine lettuce not safe to eat, should be thrown away immediately — CDC

Kenny Tucker
November 21, 2018

Food regulators have urged Americans to not consume any romaine lettuce because of a new food poisoning outbreak Tuesday.

In alarming news for anyone who, say, ate a romaine lettuce salad in the past week: the CDC is warning of a new E. coli contamination.

32 people from 11 states have been infected, but Kentucky has yet to report a case. Six of those individuals were hospitalized and one individual suffered from hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a severe complication that can result from an E. coli infection. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8 to October 31. This outbreak is not related to a multistate outbreak linked to romaine lettuce this summer.

But now, they aren't taking chances: the CDC said anyone with romaine at home should throw it away - even if you're not sure it's romaine but suspect it might be.

If you think you've gotten ill from eating lettuce, please talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

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This applies to all types of romaine lettuce, including hearts of romaine and prepackaged salad mixes. Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine lettuce has been stored and follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator. Restaurants and retailers have been warned to not serve any form of romaine lettuce to customers. "This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available", the agency said in a press release.

Until it can identify which specific batches of lettuce are contaminated, the CDC has asked that consumers avoid "all types or uses of romaine lettuce".

Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea and vomiting. Some people may develop a fever.

Evidence points toward romaine lettuce as the likely source, but the CDC can't get more specific than that.

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