If you were planning to do a caesar salad with dinner you may want to come up with a plan B side dish as the CDC is advising people across America to toss any romaine lettuce they may have in the fridge.
"Consumers anywhere in the United States 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," the CDC states on its website.
Check your fridge! Throw away all chopped romaine lettuce, including salad mixes containing romaine, and any other… https://t.co/UOg06xTO3P
— CDC (@CDCgov)
CDC announces E. coli outbreak
This follows a nationwide outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine from Yuma, Arizona.
To play it safe, toss whatever you've got in the fridge. E. coli infections can strike anyone who eats a contaminated food, but pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and the elderly are among those most at risk.
Thirty-one people have been hospitalized since this outbreak started, and five of them developed kidney failure. Thankfully, there have been no deaths linked to the lettuce at this point. According to USA Today, about 70% of those who've become sick are female, and Pennsylvania and Idaho have seen the most cases.
If you're eating out this weekend, make sure to ask your server where the restaurant sources its romaine lettuce from. If it's Yuma, Arizona, order fries or something instead.
If you do have romaine lettuce in the fridge, the CDC suggests cleaning the fridge after throwing out the package. It's one extra step, but it's worth it to avoid E. coli.