Is it now safe to eat romaine lettuce? Not yet

Second case of E. coli in Ottawa, linked to outbreak

The permitted areas include the Imperial Valley and other desert growing regions in California, as well as Yuma, AZ, Florida and Mexico. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb took to Twitter over the Thanksgiving holiday to explain why such a blanket warning was issued.

The CDC has advised consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they have in any form, such as whole heads, hearts or salad mixes containing it.

This notice has been updated to include three additional cases of E. coli linked to the outbreak.

However, if you don't know where the lettuce is from, do not eat it, the CDC said.

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Though, health officials from the FDA and CDC have potentially identified the strain, they are not sure how much lettuce has been contaminated. Twenty-two people in Canada were also sickened.

The FDA also said the market appears to have been successfully purged of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the outbreak thanks to the market withdrawal request of November 20.

Health officials said the romaine linked to a deadly E. coli outbreak that sparked an alert last week to avoid the lettuce entirely appears to be from California's Central Coast Region. United States officials are also coordinating with the Public Health Agency in Canada, which is also investigating a similar outbreak.

"Our investigation at this point suggests that romaine lettuce associated with the outbreak comes from areas of California that grow romaine lettuce over the summer months", the FDA said in a statement.

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said it is continuing its own investigation in conjunction with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada (HC) into the current outbreak of E. coli O157. Children under 5, adults older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with chronic diseases, are more likely to develop severe illness, but even healthy children and adults can become seriously ill.

Five people died in the most recent major outbreak from contaminated romaine, which lasted from March to June of this year and led to 210 cases in 36 states. Most people get better in a week or less, but some can experience life-threatening infection.

This particular outbreak is slowly turning out to be a scary one, as the CDC has reported that almost thirteen people have also been recently hospitalized, and not only that, one of these patients has also developed kidney failure, Thankfully, no deaths have been reported till this point of time because of the outbreak.

The FDA has urged growers, processors and sellers to label all individually packaged romaine products to identify the region and harvest date.

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