Romaine Lettuce Might Be Linked to a Deadly E. coli Outbreak

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Put down your salad and check your greens in the fridge. An E. coli outbreak has affected 58 people in the United States and Canada, resulting in two deaths, and Consumer Reports thinks romaine lettuce is to blame.

James Rogers, Ph.D., director of Food Safety and Research at Consumer Reports, explains the current connection between romaine lettuce and the outbreak: “Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw.”

The CDC and the FDA are still investigating this outbreak. According to the CDC’s website they can’t say with 100 percent certainty that it’s romaine lettuce. “Because we have not identified a source of the infections, CDC is unable to recommend whether U.S. residents should avoid a particular food. This investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available,” the release says.

Usually, when an outbreak occurs we know the source of the problem. But in this case, it has yet to be identified so staying clear of all romaine in stores, your refrigerator, or friends’ houses is the best measure to be taken. Also be cautious of “mixed greens,” as there might be some romaine lurking there.

What States Are Affected So Far?

So far, this has already affected 58 people according to Consumer Reports, out of which five were hospitalized and one died, as well as a second death in Canada. Here are the states where the tainted lettuce has been discovered thus far.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Stay safe out there, lettuce-lovers! Until the green has been deemed OK to eat again, opt for something else at the grocery store for all your salad making.

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