Wednesday, 15 August, 2018


CDC Issues Strong New Warning Against Eating Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce Romaine lettuce. Douglas Sacha Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 22 April, 2018, 00:35

An update issued on Friday, however, says customers should also avoid whole heads and hearts of romaine, in addition to chopped lettuce, unless they can determine that it was not grown in Yuma.

"We recommend people throw out and do not consume whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine at this time", said Dr. Cara Christ, AZDHS director.

But on April 19, 2018, Alaska health officials announced that several people in the correctional facility who got sick with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 ate whole-head romaine lettuce from Yuma.

The E coli break out has contaminated a total amount of 53 individuals within 16 states, authorities pointed out.

Most people recover within one week although some illnesses can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Affected states include Idaho, California, Alaska, Washington, and 12 others.

Canadians can continue to use romaine lettuce in their salads, says the Public Health Agency of Canada. "If you can not determine the source of your romaine lettuce, throw it away and don't eat it", the FDA warns.

Health officials say if you can't confirm where the lettuce came from, don't eat it. Most develop diarrhea that can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

No grower or distributor has been identified as the source of the outbreak, which has been traced to the Yuma, Ariz., area where California's major produce companies cultivate winter lettuce, according to the CDC.

Five people sickened in the current outbreak have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Figuring out where bagged, store-bought chopped lettuce was originally grown can be hard, so the CDC suggested that if you don't know for certain, avoid chopped romaine lettuce altogether. For some, the illness may include a fever. These complications are more common in young children under 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

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