'Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce,' CDC Says - NBC 7 San Diego

Important News on Consumer Products That Can Keep You Safe

'Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce,' CDC Says

Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but some produce toxins that can cause severe illness



    Don't Buy It! Romaine Lettuce Recall for Possible E.Coli

    Urgent alert for lettuce as we learn that nice out of 32 people got sick from it are in Los Angeles (Published Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018)

    Health officials in the U.S. and Canada told people on Tuesday to stop eating romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is working with officials in Canada on the outbreak, which has sickened 32 people in 11 states and 18 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

    The strain identified is different than the one linked to romaine earlier this year but appears similar to last year's outbreak linked to leafy greens.

    FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency doesn't have enough information to ask suppliers for a recall, but he suggested that supermarkets and restaurants should withdraw romaine until the source of the contamination can be identified. People are also being advised to throw out any romaine they have at home.

    Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce: Health Officials

    [NATL] Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce: Health Officials

    Health officials in the U.S. and Canada are urging people to stay away from all romaine lettuce and products after 32 people in 11 states were sickened by an E. coli outbreak.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    The contaminated lettuce is likely still on the market, Gottlieb told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

    He said FDA wanted to issue a warning before people gathered for Thanksgiving meals, where the potential for exposure could increase.

    "We did feel some pressure to draw conclusions as quickly as we could," he said.

    What Is E. Coli?

    [NATL] What Is E. Coli?

    From time to time you hear about an outbreak of E. coli. Learn what E. coli is and the symptoms of the illness that can be caused by the bacteria.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    In Canada, officials issued similar warnings to the two provinces where people were sickened. They said there was no evidence to suggest people in other parts of the country had been affected.

    Most romaine sold this time of year is grown in California, Gottlieb said. The romaine lettuce linked to the E. coli outbreak earlier this year was from Yuma, Arizona. Tainted irrigation water appeared to be the source of that outbreak, which sickened about 200 people and killed five.

    The FDA's blanket warning in the current outbreak is broader and more direct than the ones issued in the earlier outbreak, said Robert Whitaker, chief science officer for the Produce Marketing Association. In the earlier outbreak, the warnings about romaine from Yuma might have been confusing, he said.

    Recalls to Watch for This Thanksgiving

    [NATL] Recalls to Watch for This Thanksgiving

    Officials have issued warnings for ground turkey, ground beef, romaine lettuce and cake mix going into Thanksgiving 2018.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018)

    Whitaker said the industry group told members they should cooperate with the FDA and stop supplying romaine lettuce, especially since people have been told to stop buying and eating it.

    No deaths have been reported in the current outbreak, but 13 people in the U.S. and six in Canada have been hospitalized. The last reported U.S. illness was on Oct. 31, while and the most recent illness in Canada was early this month.

    Tracing the source of contaminated lettuce can be difficult because it's often repackaged by middlemen, said Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. That can mean the entire industry becomes implicated in outbreaks, even if not all products are contaminated.

    "One of the problems with produce is that it can be very hard to trace back," she said.

    She said washing contaminated lettuce won't ensure that harmful germs are killed.

    Infections from E. coli can cause symptoms including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

    Which Airlines and Airports Are Delayed the Most?

    [NATL] Which Airlines and Airports Are Delayed the Most?

    Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveal which airlines and airports have had the most delays from January to August, 2019. They also show which carriers and airports have done a great job getting you to your destination on time.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019)

    Health officials have also been reminding people to properly handle and cook their Thanksgiving birds amid a widespread salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey. Last week, Hormel recalled some packages of Jennie-O ground turkey that regulators were able to tie to an illness.

    But unlike with romaine lettuce, regulators are not warning people to avoid turkey. Salmonella is not prohibited in raw meat and poultry, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which overseas raw meat, said cooking should kill any salmonella.  

    Correction: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the extent of the CDC warning. It extends to all romaine lettuce. 

    AP Probe: Aging US Dams Pose Risk to Thousands

    [NATL] AP Probe: Aging US Dams Pose Risk to Thousands

    An Associated Press investigation has found that thousands of people in the U.S. may be at risk from aging dams that are in poor condition. The two-year investigation identified 1,688 'high hazard' dams in 44 states and Puerto Rico.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2019)