You may want to avoid romaine lettuce in the produce aisle, following an E. coli outbreak that has inflicted dozens of people throughout the country.
Over the past seven weeks, 58 people in the United States and Canada have fallen ill from a strain of E. coli bacteria that is believed to have originated from romaine lettuce that has been recently sold.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections have occurred in 13 states - including New York - and five people have been hospitalized, including one fatal case. There was a second death in Canada recently reported.
Romaine lettuce was identified as the source of the outbreak in Canada, according to Yonkers-based Consumer Reports and officials have advised that the product should be avoided for the time being, until the outbreak can be sourced and handled. The strain of E. coli can lead to serious illness, kidney failure or death.
“Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the US, a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw,” Consumer Reports food safety director James Rogers said in a statement.
Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Others may endure a minor fever. As of Friday morning, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a recall of romaine lettuce in the United States.
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