Why You Should Steer Clear of Romaine Lettuce: An E. Coli Outbreak


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising consumers not to eat romaine lettuce due to a multi-state outbreak of food poisoning caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) linked to the produce by U.S. and Canadian agencies. According to the CDC, the outbreak is not related to E. coli infections from romaine lettuce reported in the spring of 2018 but is similar to a 2017 outbreak linked to leafy greens.

The investigation is ongoing, and until more information is available, consumers are advised not to eat:

  • Whole heads of romaine
  • Romaine hearts
  • Pre-cut lettuce and salad mixes that may contain romaine, such as bags or boxes of baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad

E. coli symptoms include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea (often bloody). Contact your health care provider if you develop any of these symptoms after eating romaine lettuce (or anything else). Most people recover from E. coli infection within a week, but older adults, children, and people with chronic health problems are at increased risk for dangerous complications, including a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Sourced from: CDC