Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state health authorities investigating a multi-state outbreak of illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7 in the United States announced evidence indicates romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region is a likely source of the outbreak. The FDA says the Salinas region includes Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey counties in California.
Consumers are advised not to eat romaine lettuce harvested from that area or that does not come with labeling that identifies the harvest region. Consumers are advised to throw away suspect romaine lettuce or return it to the store where purchased.
Consumers ordering salad containing romaine at a restaurant or at a salad bar are also advised to ask the staff whether the romaine came from Salinas. If it did, or they do not know, do not eat it.
The 16 states with 40 reported cases are: Arizona (2), California (4), Colorado (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Montana (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (2), Ohio (5), Pennsylvania (3), Virgina (1), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (10).
At this time, officials say romaine lettuce harvested outside of the Salinas region has not been implicated in this outbreak.