CDC advises restaurants, consumers to stay away from romaine lettuce


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting an E. coli outbreakbelieved to be linked to romaine lettuce.

The CDC is advising restaurants to not offer the lettuce and consumers not to add the vegetable to their salads.

No cases have been reported in Delaware, although Maryland did report one incident.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producingEscherichia coliO157:H7.

As of November 20, 32 people infected with the outbreak strain from 11 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on theMap of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from Oct. 8 to Oct. 31. Those taken ill range in age from 7 to 84 years, with a median age of 24. Sixty-six percent of ill people are female. Of 26 people with information available, 13 (50 percent) were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after October 30 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill withE. coli.

FDA and states are working to trace back romaine lettuce that ill people ate in the current outbreak.

So far, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified. CDC is advising that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and restaurants and retailers notto sell any, until we learn more about this outbreak and the source of the contaminated lettuce.

This investigation is ongoing.

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