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Public health and food safety officials in the U.S. and Canada are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli O157:H7) infections linked to romaine lettuce.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a food safety alert today in which it advises consumers not to eat romaine lettuce. Retailers and restaurants are instructed not to serve or sell romaine until more is known about the outbreak. A source of contamination has not yet been identified.
To date, a total of 32 cases have been reported in 11 states. It is believed these exposures occurred in October.
The CDC recommends:
Symptoms typically appear within three to four days after consuming Shiga E. coli bacteria, but may occur within one to 10 days. Certain types of bacteria can cause serious illness requiring hospitalization.
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