CDC is advising that United States consumers not eat any romaine lettuce

Wayne CurryNov 22, 2018

"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 CDC said, after 32 people were reported sick from E. coli poisoning in 11 states, with 13 of them hospitalized.

The Department of Health is to contact local food suppliers after a large-scale outbreak of E. coli in the United States associated with romaine lettuce.

But in Canada, the country's public health and food inspection agencies stopped short of insisting on its removal, despite it being linked to the illnesses of 18 people in Ontario and Quebec - of whom six required hospitalization.

Norman Neumann, the vice-dean of the University of Alberta's School of Public Health, said during outbreaks impacting Canada and the US, health bodies from both countries will likely consult each other on investigating the source, but don't always co-ordinate their responses.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea which is often bloody, and vomiting, said the CDC. According to PHAC, most symptoms end within five to 10 days, but you should contact a health care provider if symptoms persist.

Don't Eat Romaine Lettuce, Period — CDC
Restaurants are also advised to avoid serving romaine lettuce in any form, be it full leaves, chopped, or otherwise. In fact, the alert includes advice on how to clean your refrigerator if romaine has been inside it recently.

CDC is advising that USA consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak.

The cause of contamination has not yet been identified.

Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said Wednesday morning all romaine and products containing it were pulled from the grocer's shelves overnight.

"I strongly believe that Health Canada/CFIA should call for retailers and wholesalers to remove all off shelves, as well as a recall to consumers", he told The Canadian Press.

This is, in fact, the second time that romaine lettuce has been declared unsafe to consume this year, and the 21st such food safety warning issued overall in what's proving to be a record year for foodborne illnesses.

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