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For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2018
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144

Food Safety Alert: Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce

LOS ANGELES – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no one should eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants should not serve or sell any due to a multistate outbreak of E.coli. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is working closely with CDC to investigate any possible connection between cases.

According to CDC, 32 people in 11 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7. No deaths have been reported. Of the 32 outbreak cases, 9 are Los Angeles County residents.

CDC issued the Food Safety Alert advising everyone who has any type of romaine lettuce in their home to not eat it and to throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. This includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as 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. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. Be sure to wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Additionally, restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine. People with E. coli infections usually get sick with bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps 3-4 days after eating food contaminated with the germ. Most people recover within a week. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe resulting in kidney failure.

For more information regarding the outbreak, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of over 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,100 employees and has an annual budget of $1 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lapublichealth, instagram.com/lapublichealth, facebook.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/lapublichealth.