CDC to U.S. consumers: Do not eat romaine lettuce

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E. coli is a large group of bacteria found in the intestine of many living organisms, but some strains can lead to illness. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Centers for Disease Control is advising U.S. consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce in response to a new multi-state outbreak of illnesses caused by a dangerous type of E.coli.

The CDC also says retailers and restaurants should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce until more is learned about the outbreak.

Officials say 32 people in 11 states were infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli between October 8 and October 31.

Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed a type of kidney failure.

No deaths have been reported.

The CDC advises anyone who has any type of romaine lettuce in his or her home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.

This 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.

The CDC recommends that 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.

The CDC also advises consumers to wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored.

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FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency doesn't yet have enough information to request suppliers issue a recall. But he says suppliers can help by withdrawing romaine products until the contamination can be identified.

According to the CDC, people usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli two to eight days after swallowing the germ. Some patients may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.

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, and report your illness to the health department.

The outbreak is also affecting Canada, where 18 cases have been identified.

CLICK HERE for more on the outbreak from the CDC.
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