Outbreak Tracker

Outbreak Tracker

November 20, 2018
1 min read

‘Throw it away’: CDC reports another E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce

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The CDC announced another multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli linked to romaine lettuce and said people should not eat the leafy greens in any form.

The U.S. agency, along with public health and regulatory officials in several states and Canada, said it is investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 that has sickened 32 people in 11 states, hospitalizing 13. Eighteen people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec also were infected with a genetically identical strain, health officials said.

The CDC advised consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce and for retailers and restaurants to stop selling or serving it until more is learned.

“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,” the agency said in a safety bulletin.

Romaine lettuce 
The CDC warned people not to eat romaine lettuce in any form.
Source: Shutterstock.com

“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.”

Earlier this year, officials linked an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that sickened over 200 people in 36 states to a growing region in Arizona and California. That outbreak was said to have ended as of June 28.

In advice for clinicians, the CDC noted that antibiotics are not recommended in patients with confirmed or suspected E. coli O157 infections because such treatment might increase their risk for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and has not been proven to be beneficial.

One patient in the current outbreak developed HUS, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported. – by Gerard Gallagher


CDC. Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce. https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html. Accessed November 20, 2018.