Coli outbreak: What you need to know

Romaine lettuce

Justin Sullivan Getty Images File 2018 Romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease control issued a warning today that no romaine lettuce should be consumed due to potential E. coli contamination.

Health officials in the US and Canada on Tuesday told people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak.

Thirteen of them required hospital treatment with one person suffering kidney failure. In last year's outbreak, 25 people across 15 states became sick after eating romaine lettuce with that bacterial strain. That means heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, lettuce mixes and a classic Caesar salad.

The agency also advised that you wash and sanitize the drawers or shelves where the lettuce was being stored.

The latest outbreak follows the deaths of at least five people in the summer linked to romaine lettuce.

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The Canadian individuals caught the illness between October and November.

As people across the country get ready for the Thanksgiving meal and salad may be on the menu; you will not want to be serving romaine lettuce.

The agency said that it is now "conducting a traceback investigation to determine the source of the romaine lettuce eaten by people who became sick".

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

The CDC says it is working to identify the source of the outbreak.

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People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) two to eight days (average of three to four days) after swallowing the germ. Evidence from both the USA and Canadian outbreaks point toward romaine lettuce as the cause of both.

With frequent news of outbreaks, which are investigated by the CDC, many people might wonder whether foodborne illness is on the rise - and whether safety measures across the nation adequately protect our food supply.

Most people with the complication recover after a few weeks, but some may suffer permanent damage, and could even die.

What is lagging is the ability to do track and trace to a single distributor or grower "because we don't have as good a technology as we would like in our supply chain", Gottlieb said.

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