The FDA is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses likely linked to chopped romaine lettuce sourced from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona.
The CDC reports that 35 people in 11 states have become ill. These people reported becoming ill in the time period of March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads. At this time, ill people are not reporting whole heads or hearts of romaine.
Preliminary information collected by FDA, in conjunction with federal, state, and local partners, indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce that ill people ate was likely grown or originated from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona. No specific grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified at this time.
The FDA recommends that consumers ask restaurants and other food service establishments where their romaine lettuce originated, and avoid chopped romaine lettuce that originated from Yuma, Arizona. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it. If you have already purchased products containing chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salads, salad mixes, or prepared salads, throw them away.
The FDA is continuing to investigate this outbreak and will share more information as it becomes available.
Consumers who have symptoms of STEC infection should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Although many infections resolve in 5-7 days, they can result in serious illness, including a potentially serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from November to December 2017 linked to leafy greens consumption. People in the previous outbreak were infected with a different DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.