CDC: Throw out your romaine lettuce

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This warning comes a day after consumers were told to throw away and not eat any chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salad and salad mixes.

The CDC advises that product labels often do not identify growing regions. Even if someone has already eaten some and not gotten sick, the lettuce should still be thrown away to be on the safe side, as USA Today notes. The source of the infection has not been identified, but the CDC said Wednesday that restaurants and retailers should stop serving salads and salad mixes with lettuce "from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region".

Before buying romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers are advised to confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not romaine lettuce from the Yuma region.

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The warning was expanded on Friday after someone at a correctional facility in Alaska reported getting sick from whole heads of lettuce.

The agency said 53 people in 16 states have become infected with E. coli from lettuce. None of the cases were in Hawaiʻi. It added that "31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome". The CDC warning at that time also directed consumers to not eat any romaine served by restaurants or buy any chopped romaine sold in grocery stores unless they were assured it was not grown in Yuma.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

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No specific grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been linked to the contaminated lettuce, the CDC said.

The initial outbreak was reported April 10, with 17 people from seven states affected. Food contaminated with E. coli usually does not look or smell bad. These complications are more common in young children under 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Rob Philippou from Garden City, New York, is one of those sickened in the outbreak. An H-E-B spokesperson said on Friday afternoon that they "do not source romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, so we're clear".

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