Rhode Islanders urged to take lettuce precautions

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers, food establishment managers, and retailers to take specific precautions related to lettuce as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to respond to a multi-state E. Coli outbreak.

Evidence collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region is the likely source of this outbreak.

Guidance for consumers

Consumers who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.

If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.

Guidance for food establishments and retailers

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce.

The 11-state outbreak has involved 35 confirmed E. coli cases with 22 hospitalizations. There have not been any illnesses reported in Rhode Island. No deaths have been reported.

At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.

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