The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans "not to eat" romaine lettuce and restaurants "not to serve or sell any" until more information is gathered on a new outbreak.
The FDA says it's investigating an E. coli outbreak that has sickened over two dozen people in several states. This includes all types of lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes, such as Caesar salad.
No brand names have been identified and no recall was ordered.
The illnesses range from October 8 - Oct. 31.
"Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown", the CDC said.
Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
The agency is working with the U.S. FDA to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that the ill individuals were exposed to. And after you do that, be sure to wash and sanitize the crisper drawer or fridge shelf the lettuce touched. Toss it. In fact, the alert includes advice on how to clean your refrigerator if romaine has been inside it recently. The CDC says a new outbreak has made lettuce unsafe to eat, just in time for America's most foodcentric holiday.
Report your illness to the health department.
Restaurants are also advised to avoid serving romaine lettuce in any form, be it full leaves, chopped, or otherwise.
Go here for more information from the CDC. Most people get better within 5 to 7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are the demographics who are most at risk for developing serious complications due to E. coli-related illness.