E. coli lettuce outbreak: Here’s what the CDC says to do right now

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E. coli lettuce outbreak: Here’s what the CDC says to do right now


After more than 30 people were hospitalized in 16 states, the CDC is issuing a serious new warning today about an E. coli outbreak. The warning covers all types of romaine lettuce and lettuce products from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

Yuma County is the nation’s third largest vegetable producer, so this is kind of a big deal. Basically, if you have any of this stuff laying around your house, throw it away.

Here’s what the CDC says restaurant owners should do:

  • Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce unless you can be sure it’s not from the Yuma growing region.
  • Do not serve whole heads or hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, salads, or salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.
  • Ask your suppliers about the source of your romaine lettuce.

Here’s what the CDC says consumers should do: 

  • Don’t buy any romaine lettuce from a grocery store or supermarket unless you can confirm it didn’t come from the Yuma area.
  • If you have lettuce in your house and you’re not absolutely sure it didn’t come from the Yuma area, throw it away—even if no one has gotten sick.
  • Follow basic rules for E. coli prevention, including lots of hand-washing and avoiding cross-food contamination. More on those guidelines here.
  • If you’re experiencing any symptoms of E. coli, talk to your doctor. If you have it, report it to your local health department. This helps officials track outbreaks. More on the symptoms here.

The CDC has the full details on the outbreak warning here.