The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to remind Americans to not eat any romaine lettuce amid an E .coli outbreak that has has infected 32 people in 11 states, which includes New Jersey and New York.
Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported, according to the CDC.
“CDC continues to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to romaine lettuce. We understand this outbreak is of concern to many Americans – especially with so many gathering for meals this Thanksgiving week. CDC’s disease detectives are working with federal regulatory partners to investigate and determine the source of contamination as quickly as possible. We will continue to provide more information as it becomes available. The good news is we were able to detect and identify the outbreak quickly through our disease surveillance system, which can prevent further illness,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. said. in a statement on Friday.
“However, until we know more, it’s crucial that Americans continue to follow the guidance that CDC issued. There are no exceptions – all romaine lettuce must be discarded, regardless of brand, type, or if it is in a mixture. We also continue to urge people to follow our tips to help prevent E. coli illness. In addition, we remind clinicians that antibiotics are not recommended for patients in whom E. coli O157 is suspected until diagnostic testing rules out this infection,” Redfield said.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted on Friday, the romaine implicated in the current outbreak is likely from California.
UPDATE ON OUTBREAK: The romaine implicated in the current outbreak is likely from California based on growing and harvesting patterns. The goal now is to withdraw the product that’s at risk of being contaminated from the market, and then re-stock the market…..
— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) November 23, 2018
The CDC says consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away. The agency said even if you have already eaten some of the lettuce in your home and have not gotten sick, you should still throw it away.
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.
If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
Click here for more information on E. coli and symptoms.