The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), local health departments, other states, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating an outbreak of E coli O157:H7 infections linked to the consumption of romaine lettuce. As of November 20, 2018, 32 ill people have been reported in 11 states. Seven of these individuals are Michigan residents (1 Cass, 2 Macomb, 3 Oakland, 1 Wayne Counties). The illness onset dates of the Michigan cases range from Oct 9- 22, 2018. Five of seven cases were hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.
CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak. This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.
Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator. Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
- Talk to your healthcare provider.
- Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
- Report your illness to the health department.
- Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.