US officials: Don’t eat romaine grown in Salinas, California

FILE - This Nov. 20, 2018 file photo shows Romaine Lettuce in Simi Valley, Calif. U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, Calif., Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, as they investigate a food poisoning outbreak. They also say not to eat the leafy green if the label doesn’t say where it was grown.

Update Dec. 4, 2019

The CDC has updated its report on the outbreak, as follows.

The strain has sickened 102 people from 23 states, leading to 58 hospitalizations and 10 cases of kidney failure, according to the latest CDC report. It said no deaths had been reported.

People infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7, by date of illness onset*

The CDC posted this timeline on Dec. 4, captioned, "People infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7, by date of illness onset" as of Dec. 2, 2019. It also noted: "Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks."


Posted Dec. 2, 2019

Eight Pennsylvania residents are among dozens of people sickened in an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, according to state officials.

A recent tweet from the state agriculture department alerted consumers that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "are warning of a rapidly spreading outbreak of E. coli, which is highly virulent and causing an abnormally high rate of kidney failure."

The strain has sickened 67 people from 19 states, leading to 39 hospitalizations and six cases of kidney failure, according to the latest CDC report. It said no deaths had been reported.

CDC advises that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California, growing region.

Consumers who have romaine lettuce or packaged foods containing romaine at home should throw it away if it says "Grown in Salinas" or isn't labeled with a growing region, the agency says, and, "If you don’t know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix or wrap contains romaine, don’t eat it. Throw it away."

The FDA said genetic analysis shows the strains in this outbreak are similar to those in fall 2017 and fall 2018 that affected consumers in the U.S. and Canada. 

From May to November, about three-quarters of romaine lettuce shipments in the United States come from California’s Central Coast region, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

The service also noted that in 2017 and 2018 U.S. and Canada outbreaks associated with romaine led to a total of 376 illnesses, 158 hospitalizations, and 7 deaths.


Nov. 22 story with more details