May 26, 2024

Deadly E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Leads to Consumer Reports Recommends Avoiding Romaine Lettuce

The deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canada and the United States that has sickened at least 58 people has prompted Consumer Reports to recommend that people avoid eating romaine lettuce for now. The outbreak in Canada has been linked to this specific leafy green, but officials in the United States have still not pinpointed a specific product in that outbreak.

Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

The Consumer Reports article states that “five people in the U.S. have been hospitalized and one has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There has also been one death in Canada.”

Canadian officials have reported the death in that country, but there has been no official statement from the CDC about a death in the U.S. So far, 17 people are sick in 13 states, which includes California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington state.

Dr. James Rogers, Director of Food Safety and Research at Consumer Reports said in a statement, “Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw.” He added that young children, the elderly, and anyone with a chronic illness should pay attention to this outbreak. “People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce,” he said.

There are many other types of lettuce and leafy greens you can eat while this E. coli O157:H7 outbreak is ongoing. Consider avoiding that type of lettuce, and make sure that any lettuce blends you buy don’t contain this leafy green. If you have romaine in your fridge right now, it may be a good idea to discard it.

The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include painful and severe abdominal and stomach cramps, diarrhea that is likely bloody and/or watery, and a mild fever. Most people get sick within a few days of ingesting this pathogenic bacteria, and the illness usually lasts about a week, unless a complication occurs.

That complication is usually hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, a skin rash, pale skin, easy bruising, lethargy, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. If you or someone you know has been experiencing these symptoms, a doctor should be consulted.

The experienced lawyers at the law firm of Pritzker Hageman help people sickened by contaminated food get justice, answers, and compensation. Our attorneys have represented patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against growers, importers, food processors and distributors, food manufacturers, restaurants, retailers, schools, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won a $7.5 million judgment on behalf of a young client whose kidneys failed because he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) after an E. coli infection.

If you have a question about this outbreak, ask us about it and leave a comment about this story. We will keep you informed as more information is released.


  1. Has this been reported in Tulsa Ok?

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