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CDC Warns Not To Eat Romaine Lettuce After New E. Coli Outbreak

(CBS SF) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people not to eat romaine lettuce following the latest outbreak of E. coli infections linked to the lettuce across 11 states.

In addition, the CDC is advising restaurants and retailers not to serve or sell any romaine lettuce until more is learned about the outbreak.

At least 32 cases of E. coli contamination have been reported in the outbreak with illnesses reported between October 8 and October 31. California has the most with 10 cases; Michigan is second with seven cases.  Illnesses have also been reported in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Among those cases, 13 people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported but at least one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

Canada's Public Health Agency has also identified an additional 18 people infected with the same type of E. coli in Ontario and Quebec.

The current outbreak is not related to a recent deadly outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce, the CDC said.

A coalition of produce industry groups have also urged the voluntary recall of all romaine currently in the marketing channels and held in inventory. "No one wants to get to the bottom of how these outbreaks are occurring faster than the producers of leafy greens," the groups said in a joint statement. "We absolutely must do everything possible to stop recurring outbreaks. We owe this to those whose lives have been tragically impacted by this outbreak and to all our consumers who trust us to grow safe food for their families."

Consumers were also advised to throw away any type of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.

The CDC said consumers should also wash and sanitize any refrigerator drawers or shelves where romaine was stored.



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