NEW YORK (AP) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning against eating romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states
“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,” the agency said in a Food Safety Alert Tuesday.
“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.
“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.”
Consumers should “wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored,” the agency says, and “restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.”
The Food and Drug Administration says it's working with officials in Canada, where people are also being warned to stay away from romaine lettuce.
The strain identified is different than the one linked to romaine earlier this year, but it appears similar to one linked to leafy greens last year.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency doesn't yet have enough information to request suppliers issue a recall.
But he says suppliers can help by withdrawing romaine products until the contamination can be identified.
No deaths have been reported.
The last illness was reported on Oct. 31.
Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but some produce toxins that can cause severe illness.