The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding a warning to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
The updated warning, issued late Friday afternoon, now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine. The CDC says do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region. Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
The warning goes on to say, “Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.” The CDC also says that restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska. The CDC reports that 53 people from 16 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli. O157:H7. 31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.