Health officials are investigating a series of recent illnesses from a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria that may be linked to romaine lettuce. Five people in the U.S. have been hospitalized and one has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There has also been one death reported in Canada.
Food safety experts at Consumer Reports are advising that consumers stop eating romaine lettuce until the cause of the outbreak is identified and that product is removed from store shelves.
Over the past seven weeks, 58 people in the U.S. and Canada have become ill from the strain of E. coli (0157:H7). In the U.S., the infections have occurred in 13 states — California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington state.
Canadian health authorities identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada, and are advising people in the country’s eastern provinces to consider eating other types of salad greens until further notice. In the U.S., government health officials are investigating the outbreaks, but have stopped short of recommending people avoid romaine lettuce or any other food.