On November 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Food Safety Alert after at least 40 people were infected with E. coli after eating lettuce, including 28 people who were hospitalized due to a severe illness.
CDC is warning consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce that was harvested from the Salinas, California growing region.
That includes whole heads of romaine, bags of pre-cut romaine, mixed salads with romaine, baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
“If it isn’t labeled with a growing region, don’t eat it, and throw it away,” according to the CDC warning.
Illnesses have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
CDC issued a similar “Do not eat” warning for romaine lettuce around Thanksgiving 2018 due to a risk of E. coli. By January 2019, the outbreak infected at least 62 people in 16 states, plus another 18 people in Canada.
In Fall 2017, lettuce was linked to an outbreak of E. coli that infected 25 people in 15 states, including one person who died.
In Spring 2018, another outbreak of E. coli from lettuce infected at least 210 people in 36 states, including 5 people who died.
Earlier in Fall 2019, another 23 people in 12 states were infected in a separate outbreak of E. coli from lettuce that is unrelated to the current ongoing outbreak.
In response to these repeated deadly outbreaks, the FDA recently announced plans to significantly increase testing on romaine lettuce grown in California and Arizona.