Romaine Lettuce Recalled Again – New E. Coli Contamination

November 29, 2019

Last November there was an outbreak of E. coli infection due to contaminated Romaine lettuce. The infection caused serious illnesses up until the end of the year. Unfortunately, the problem is back and once again, contaminated Romaine lettuce has been recalled in the United States, for the same reason. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of November 26, 2019:

CDC advises that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California, growing region. This includes all use-by dates and brands of romaine lettuce from this region. This includes lettuce bought whole, prepackaged, or as part of a salad mix.”

Unlike dirt that may be found on produce that is washed off before the food is prepared, E. coli bacteria cannot be removed by washing and it must be thrown away or returned to the store where it was purchased. If you have this lettuce in your fridge, the CDC recommends that you clean the fridge thoroughly to prevent any cross contamination.

So far, 67 people in 19 states have been affected; 39 admitted to the hospital:

  • Arizona            3 people
  • California        4
  • Colorado         1
  • Idaho               3
  • Illinois              1
  • Maryland        4
  • Michigan         1
  • Minnesota       3
  • Montana         1
  • Nebraska         1
  • New Jersey      1
  • New Mexico    2
  • Ohio                12
  • Oregon            1
  • Pennsylvania   3
  • Texas               2
  • Virginia            2
  • Washington    1
  • Wisconsin       21


People who become ill with this strain of E. coli may develop a low-grade fever, severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Most people do recover within 7 days or so, however E. coli infection could cause serious illness, leading to kidney failure. As with all infections, E. coli infection can trigger sepsis.  The people at highest risk of serious illness are pregnant womenchildren (especially newborns), older adults, and those who have weakened immune systems.

Watch for signs and symptoms of sepsis and if you are at all concerned, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. If you have any of these signs and you suspect sepsis, go to your local emergency room or call 911:

Read more about intestinal E. coli infections, including how to reduce your risk, here: Sepsis and Intestinal E. Coli Infections.