The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded its consumer warning regarding contaminated romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ, growing region.
Now, CDC’s warning includes not only chopped romaine lettuce and salad mixes, but also whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce. The expansion of the warning stems from additional Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections reported in an Alaska correctional facility. At last count, the outbreak has affected 53 people in 16 states; 31 of whom had to be hospitalized. There have been no deaths reported, and no specific brand of lettuce has been recalled thus far.
Consumers who do not know the source of any romaine lettuce they may have in their possession should throw it away immediately, even it some of the lettuce has already been eaten and no one has gotten sick. Consumers should also be aware that most product labels do not identify the growing region of the packaged item. Restaurants and retailers are also urged not to sell or serve any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ region.
CDC’s recommendation to consumers is to avoid purchasing or eating romaine lettuce from any grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, AZ, growing region.