The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about romaine lettuce; any product containing romaine may be contaminated with a pathogenic strain of the Escherichia coli bacterium - E. coli O157:H7. The CDC has advised all Americans not to eat the lettuce or any leafy green product containing any kind of romaine. If consumers have any of it at home, it should be thrown away, even if it hasn’t made anyone sick.
The outbreak is being investigated in a multitude of states in the US and Canada, and is separate from one that occurred with romaine lettuce earlier this year. So far, thirteen people have been hospitalized.
E. coli infections can cause painful cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Anyone who suspects that they are infected should speak to their doctor and health department. Clinicians are advised that the CDC does not recommend antibiotics as a treatment option for E. coli O157 infections.