Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising everyone to throw away all their romaine lettuce due to another E. coli outbreak.
The advice applies to all types and uses of romaine lettuce including whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad. So, everything.
According to the CDC, you should toss any romaine you have on hand, even if you’ve already eaten some of it and not gotten sick.
Restaurants and retailers are being advised to not sell or serve any of the lettuce, and the agency recommends throwing away any lettuce you have if you’re unsure if it is romaine or contains romaine lettuce.
Thirty-two people have reported becoming infected with E. coli from romaine lettuce in 11 states across the U.S. The illness started between October 8 and October 31. Thirteen of the 32 people were hospitalized and one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure from the infection. Eighteen people have reportedly been infected with the same strain of the bacteria in Canada.
The CDC has yet to pinpoint the source of the outbreak, thus the “throw everything away” approach.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection typically involve stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, Some infections from the disease are quite mild, while others can be life-threatening.
If you do have some romaine lettuce in your home, the CDC recommends thoroughly cleaning the area where that lettuce was stored. You can read the agency’s instructions for cleaning your refrigerator after a food recall here.
And when it comes to that Thanksgiving salad, we recommend giving brussels sprouts a try this year.