Health department alert over romaine lettuce

Kenny Tucker
November 22, 2018

So far 32 illnesses from E. coli poisoning have been reported in the United States, with 13 people being hospitalised, but nobody is thought to have died.

Health officials say two people in New Hampshire have been affected by a new E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

The United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centre for Disease Control, are coordinating with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in investigating this outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in the United States and Canada.

"If you don't know if it's romaine or can't confirm the source, don't eat it".

CDC is advising that USA consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak.

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Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. The CDC said that investigations were ongoing, and that USA consumers with any type of romaine lettuce in their homes should throw the vegetable away, even if some of it was eaten without anyone falling ill. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. Their advice: Whether it's a whole head, romaine hearts, or a pre-cut salad mix with romaine in it, throw it out - even if it hasn't gotten anyone sick yet.

As a precautionary measure, AVA added that consumers who have bought romaine lettuce and are uncertain where the vegetable was sourced from should throw the lettuce away.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine. This means that the ill people were more likely to share a common source of infection.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

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