E. Coli Alert: CDC says throw out all chopped romaine lettuce

Consumers are warned to throw away any chopped romaine lettuce purchased at stores as it may contain dangerous E.coli bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning urging people who bought chopped romaine lettuce to throw it away immediately because it could make them sick.

The CDC said Wednesday that a nationwide E. coli outbreak was linked to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Ariz. So far, 53 people in 16 states have been sickened by the lettuce.

Pennsylvania has reported 12 cases of E.coli from tainted lettuce, 10 have been reported in Idaho. There have also been cases reported in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington. A number of those have suffered kidney failure. No deaths have yet been reported.

E.coli bacteria normally lives in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains are harmless, but the 0157:H7 strain found in the romaine lettuce can cause serious illness. Symptoms may be mild to severe, including diarrhea which may be bloody.

In a statement on its website, the CDC said:

“Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.”