Romaine lettuce warning: CDC expands warning; restaurants pull salads from menu

State officials urging caution with romaine lettuce after E. coli outbreak

State officials urging caution with romaine lettuce after E. coli outbreak

"At this time, ill people are not reporting whole heads or hearts of romaine", the CDC said.

The Centers for Disease Control is expanding a warning about romaine lettuce tainted with E. coli that has now sickened dozens of people in several states.

Consumers who have store-bought romaine at home, including salads and salad mixes containing that lettuce, should throw it away immediately, US health officials said - even if some had already been eaten with no ill effects.

The CDC's expanded warning today did not go as far as Consumer Reports, a non-profit organization, did in recent days, urging people to avoid eating any form of romaine lettuce from any region because of the "potentially fatal consequences" until the government declares it "definitely safe".

The CDC has narrowed the origin of the outbreak to Yuma, Arizona and are warning consumers to not consume any type of romaine from the area. At least 60 people in 16 states across the country have been sicked by romaine lettuce, including eight inmates at an Alaskan prison whose symptoms derived from salads made from whole heads of romaine lettuce. The CDC has yet to narrow down the contaminated lettuce to a particular brand, common grower, supplier, or distributor. However, more serious cases can lead to a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

If you have romaine lettuce at home, you're being advised by the CDC to throw it away, unless you can verify where the lettuce was grown.

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The CDC and state health officials have spoken to the people who got infected.

Symptoms from E. coli tend to start within one to 10 days of infection. It is important to toss or refrain from eating the lettuce because lettuce labels do not often identify the source of origin.

Restaurants and retailers, meanwhile, should not serve romaine lettuce or salad mixes containing the vegetable grown in Yuma, Arizona.

The CDC notes that some E.coli infections can be mild, while others can be severe or even life-threatening.

Rob Philippou from Garden City, New York, is one of those sickened in the outbreak.

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