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Romaine lettuce implicated in E. coli outbreak in 19 states

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns restaurant operators not to serve lettuce from Salinas, Calif.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday urged restaurants not to sell or serve any romaine lettuce from Salinas, Calif. following a multistate outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7.

A total of 67 people have fallen ill in 19 states, and among them 39 have been hospitalized, including six that have developed kidney failure. No deaths had been reported.

The CDC had not identified a specific grower, supplier or distributor as of Friday afternoon, but preliminary information indicated lettuce grown in the Salinas area was eaten by most of the people who were sickened. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recalled several products and a full list can be found here.

The same Shiga toxin-producing strain of E. coli that caused outbreaks linked to romaine in 2017 and 2018 was implicated.

Restaurant operators are advised to check the label on bags or boxes of romaine or ask their suppliers about the source for all types of romaine, including whole heads and hearts, precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine. If grown in Salinas (listed alone or with another location), it should be thrown away. Don’t eat it or serve it.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with a new victim count from the CDC as of Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout


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