The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alongside the Food and Drug Administration and other public health and regulatory officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region.
As of Nov. 21 a total of 40 people have been reported as infected from 16 states.
CDC is advising that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California. The advice below applies to all types of romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes which contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
What restaurants should know
- Check the label on the bags or boxes of romaine lettuce you have or ask their suppliers about the source of your lettuce. If the packaging has “Salinas” on the label in any form, do not sell or serve it.
- If the lettuce is not labeled with a growing region, don’t sell or serve it.
Suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell romaine harvested in Salinas, California.
According to the FDA, romaine lettuce that was harvested outside of the Salinas region has not been implicated in this outbreak investigation. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine, which is voluntarily labeled as “indoor grown,” from any region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak.
Local health departments are not being asked to participate in any formal activities at this time, but appropriate staff should be aware of this situation. For other recent food recalls affecting Washington State, see: www.doh.wa.gov/foodrecalls.
For more information:
- FDA updates and guidance on the current E.coli outbreak: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-lllnesses-caused-e-coli-o157h7-november-2019
- CDC E. coli investigation notice, updates and guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2019/o157h7-11-19/index.html
- Missa Bay, LLC, of Swedesboro, New Jersey, recalled salads potentially prepared with lettuce linked to this investigation. At the time of this email, the recalled salads were not listed as distributed in Washington or the Pacific NW. The firm announcement from 11/21/19 is available on the USDA website: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2019/recall-115-2019-release