Consumer Reports: Avoid eating romaine lettuce after E. Coli outbreak in US, Canada

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 28: Heads of romaine lettuce fill a produce case at the Fruit Barn produce store in San Francisco. Laboratory studies commissioned by the Environmental Working Group in Oakland found the chemical perchlorate, a hormone disrupter, in four of 22 samples of lettuce traced to growers in Southern California or Arizona. A typical serving of the contaminated lettuce would contain four times the level of perchlorate considered safe in drinking water. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

WASHINGTON (WCMH) — Consumer Reports is urging people in the United States and Canada to avoid eating romaine lettuce after an outbreak of E. Coli infections.

One person has died in the United States and one in Canada, Consumer Reports said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the outbreak, which has affected 13 states including Ohio. The agency says they cannot yet link the outbreak of E. Coli to a certain type of food. State and local public health officials are interviewing sick people in the US.

Consumer Reports advises that people should throw away any romaine lettuce they have, and do not buy any more until the outbreak’s cause has been determined.

The CDC last reported on the outbreak on December 28, NBC News reports. It said 17 people were sick in those 13 states, dating back to November. The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported on 41 illnesses and say the cases are related to romaine lettuce.

E. Coli O157:H7 can produce Shiga toxins, which can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. The most dangerous effect is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

“Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and HUS than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill,” the CDC advises. 

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