Romaine Lettuce Is Being Linked to E. Coli Outbreaks in 13 States

Romaine lettuce is suspected to be the source of

CDC investigating multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections [media statement].

A multistate E. coli outbreak has food safety experts warning consumers to avoid Romaine lettuce for the time being, as it is said to be the likely cause of the food poisoning.

If you're one of the many people hitting the refresh button on life with the coming of the New Year, resolving to exercise more, drink less, and eat better, you may have stocked your fridge with lots of fresh and healthy veggies for your own clean-eating plans - including romaine lettuce. "Individuals in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador should consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce, until more is known about the outbreak and the cause of contamination". Canadian health authorities identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in their country, and since December 14 have been advising people in the country's eastern provinces to consider eating other types of salad greens until further notice. Produce News reported this week that "no public agency has contacted any Romaine lettuce grower, shipper or processor and requested that they either stop shipping or recall product already in the marketplace".

Even though US authorities can't say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce caused the outbreak, Consumer Reports urged a "greater degree of caution", about the lettuce because it's usually consumed raw.

The CDC statement said it was investigating the outbreak and had not definitively linked it to romaine.

Until the CDC or the FDA issues a notice that romaine is indeed the culprit and information about where the romaine came from, those in the United States should still remain cautious.

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Dr. Mattew Wise, who had examined the investigations from deep tells,"They've done a really thorough job there, and I think that gave us a really good clue to start with". Symptoms of an E. coli infection usually show within 2 to 10 days after eating food contaminated with E. coli.

"Fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea can happen with clear liquids or like watery diarrhea or you can have pussy diarrhea or even a bloody diarrhea and you'll have abdominal cramps with it", Dr. Yu stated.

Do you have any romaine in the house you'll be getting rid of?

Handwashing and cooking of meats and produce (especially romaine lettuce) is recommended to help prevent infection and the spread of the outbreak.

Consumer Reports is now calling on the Food and Drug Administration and CDC to do more to warn the public about the dangers of the outbreak. Check back with us for more updates.

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