CDC Warns Romaine Lettuce Is NOT Safe To Eat; Recommends Blanket Ban

Major retailers and shoppers are being warned to get rid of all romaine lettuce due to a widespread E. coli contamination, identifying that it’s currently unsafe to eat or cook with in any form.

As reported by MarthaStewart.com, The federal safety agency is asking all shoppers to immediately throw away romaine lettuce that they’ve recently purchased, advising a blanket ban on all romaine lettuce—no matter the origin or when it was grown. The warning includes chopped, pre-washed mixes, whole romaine heads, and various mixes that include romaine lettuce.

Here is their entire FOOD SAFETY ALERT… Posted November 20, 2018 at 2:30 PM ET

CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak. This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.

  • Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
    • This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of pre-cut 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.
  • Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
    • Talk to your healthcare provider.
    • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
    • Report your illness to the health department.
    • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.

Advice to Clinicians

  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients in whom E.coli O157 infection is suspected, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.
  • Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli O157 infections might increase their risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure), and the benefit of antibiotic treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.

So far Thirty-two people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coliO157:H7 which have been reported from 11 separate states.  Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2018 to October 31, 2018.  Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.