Update: December 9, 2019, 11:55 a.m. As the CDC continues monitoring the latest romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak, more and more states are being added to the list. As of December 4, 23 states have been affected by the outbreak, with 102 people ill. Of those 102, there have been 58 people hospitalized.
Though the outbreak appears to be ongoing, the latest information still limits the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley, CA, area, so consumers should still check labels and avoid romaine lettuce grown in this region.
Original: December 3, 2019 1:48 p.m. The CDC reported an outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce about a week ago, and the latest in their investigation revealed that 67 people have been infected—with 39 hospitalizations—in 19 states.
The highest number of cases reported have been in Wisconsin and Ohio. Of people infected, who range from 3 to 89 years old, six of them have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.
Evidence the CDC gathered connects the outbreak to romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California. They advise customers to avoid buying all brands, types, and use-by dates of lettuce from this region. The types include: whole heads of romaine, organic romaine, hearts of romaine, romaine in salad wraps, and packages of pre-cut lettuce, and salad mixes that contain romaine (including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad).
To figure out what lettuce you should steer clear from, “look for a label showing where the romaine lettuce was grown,” the CDC said. “It may be printed on the package or on a sticker.”
If you can’t find the info you need to determine whether or not the lettuce is safe, it’s best to throw it away.
Those who sell and distribute romaine lettuce from the Salinas, CA, region have been advised to stop.
This isn’t the first time this particular strain of E. coli caused an outbreak. In 2017 and 2018, the same strain of E. coli caused outbreaks connected to leafy greens and romaine lettuce.