Stay Away From All Forms of Romaine Lettuce, CDC Says

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 21, 2018

A previous consumer alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding chopped romaine lettuce products has been extended to include all romaine lettuce products. The warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, as well as chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

The CDC had originally traced the outbreak - which has sickened at least 53 people across 16 states - specifically to chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region. None of the eight Alaska patients have been hospitalized and none have died. Zero deaths have been reported.

The CDC says the hospitalization rate for this outbreak is higher than normal and officials are working to figure out why. Symptoms may be mild to severe, including diarrhea which may be bloody. Young children, the elderly, and the immune-compromised are at risk of developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening illness that can cause kidney failure.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

"There have been nights where I've been really nauseous, times when I've had really bad abdominal pain, awful cramps", he told CBS News. Eight inmates in the prison were infected after eating whole romaine lettuce contaminated by the bacteria, according to information from the CDC and Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services.

Since no single grower, brand, or distributor has been implicated in the outbreak, consumers should also dispose of any store-bought romaine lettuce they already have at home, the advisory says.

Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

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