The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning the public to stay away from romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California linked to a possible E. Coli outbreak in 16 states. A total of 40 cases have been identified to have the food borne illness linked to the suspected lettuce. More information can be found on the CDC website here.
IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says its time to check labels and throw away any lettuce if you’re in doubt: “We are asking everyone to check all romaine lettuce products, including the ones in your refrigerator. If it says it’s from the Salinas growing region, you have to throw it out. If the packaging you have doesn’t indicate a growing region, you should throw it out to be on the safe side, as well. We have one company that issued a recall, Missa Bay, LLC, on all of their salad products; but it is not limited to just them. We know that there are other companies that have also used romaine lettuce products from that area of the country.” The products on recall can be found at this link.
The CDC is also cautioning the public in purchasing any products that are or contain romaine lettuce. The products subject to the recall can be found on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website. These products were distributed in Illinois as well as in 21 other states.
The investigation is ongoing to determine other potential sources of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness. Anyone with any severe food poisoning symptoms should seek medical attention and alert providers if they have consumed any lettuce products. More information can be found on IDPH’s website here.