The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CPC) have identified romaine lettuce as the source of the latest outbreak of E.coli in the US. An estimated 32 people in 11 states have been affected since October, with at least 13 being hospitalised, one with kidney failure.
No recalls have been issued to date, but the CDC warned consumers to avoid all types of romaine lettuce and salad mixes. The agency also advised people to clean fridges where romaine had been stored.
“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said in a statement.
The agency said the strain of E. coli had “the same DNA fingerprint” as an outbreak linked to leafy greens in the US and Canada late last year which killed one person and infected 25 in 15 states.
Although officials have been unable to narrow down the source of the outbreak to a particular region, the Food a Drug Administration believes the contaminated romaine is most likely to have come from California, or possibly Mexico.
“This isn’t the first romaine outbreak we have seen in the recent past, and we will continue to take steps to identify the root causes of these events and take action to prevent future outbreaks,” US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.