Heads up to all those leafy lovers out there, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning consumers in America this week against romaine lettuce consumption, as it may contain E. coli.
As per the CDC, 32 individuals, which includes 13 that were hospitalized, have been reportedly affected by the E. coli strain across 11 states within the U.S. While no fatalities have been reported as of yet, one individual hospitalized developed a potentially life-threatening kidney failure condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.
CNN reported that the states that have reported E. coli cases include: Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
In addition to this, Canada’s Public Health Agency has reported 18 individuals within the country who have reported the same outbreak strain within the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are involved within the outbreak investigation and are warning people within North America to refrain from eating any romaine lettuce.
If you have purchased some, please throw it away; even if you have eaten it already and have been okay.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, recently noted the frustration around not being about to pinpoint the strain to a specific grower; however, he does state that the FDA feels very confident that this outbreak is connected to romaine lettuce. Therefore, the organization is advising all consumers to simply stay away from any romaine lettuce products, even the bagged variety.
Gottlieb noted that while a majority of romaine lettuce is coming from the state of California, there’s also some stemming from Mexico.
The current E. coli outbreak began in October of this year, and is not connected to any other outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that may have occurred during the summer.
As something similar occurred last December, an outbreak strain around contaminated romaine lettuce that affect both Canada and the U.S., Gottlieb noted that as the strains are the same, nearing the same time of year, it is likely that this E. coli break is linked to the season-end harvest within the California state.