The CDC warning, due to an outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce, has been expanded to include all forms of romaine, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona, growing area. The CDC has yet to narrow down the contaminated lettuce to a particular brand, common grower, supplier, or distributor.
Friday broadened a health-related warning regarding infected lettuce, pointing out individuals ought to stay clear of full heads as well as hearts of romaine lettuce which could have originated from the Yuma area of Arizona. "If you can not determine the source of your romaine lettuce, throw it away and don't eat it", the FDA warns.
Three new illnesses were reported in the state of Alaska this week for eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from Yuma.
Among the hardest hit states are Pennsylvania, with 12 reported cases, and Idaho, with 10.
"Harvard University Dining Services romaine lettuce is NOT affected by the current recall". The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.
The FDA is continuing to investigate this outbreak and will share more information as it becomes available. Infections start when someone swallows a tiny amount of human or animal feces through a variety of ways, including contaminated food, consumption of unpasteurized (raw) milk, unclean water or contact with the feces of infected people. Although many infections resolve in five to seven days, they can result in serious illness, including a potentially serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome. These illnesses were not included in the CDC's case count, and will be included in the next update, the agency says.
Symptoms of E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.