CDC advises US consumers not to eat romaine lettuce

Romaine Lettuce

USA health officials are telling people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states.

Interested in E.coli? Add E.coli as an interest to stay up to date on the latest E.coli news, video, and analysis from ABC News. "This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available". Thirteen of those people were hospitalized, including one who suffered kidney failure.

A map from the CDC shows the distribution of people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7, by state of residence, as of November 19.

CDC officials are investigating the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has infected 32 people in 11 states.

This strain - E. coli O157:H7 - is the same as the one which caused an outbreak previous year from romaine and unspecified leafy greens grown in Canada.

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CDC is advising that consumers do not eat any romaine lettuce because no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified. This includes all types of lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes, such as Caesar salad.

If you were planning to make a salad for Thanksgiving, it's probably best you steer clear of romaine lettuce. No deaths have been reported. Toss it. In fact, the alert includes advice on how to clean your refrigerator if romaine has been inside it recently.

The illnesses range from October 8 - Oct. 31. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients in whom E.coli O157 infection is suspected, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection. "This takes an average of two to three weeks", the CDC's alert said.

In the meantime, CDC officials say consumers should not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants should not serve any romaine lettuce.

Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.

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