Caesar salad should not be on the menu this Thanksgiving, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Romaine lettuce has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that has seen 32 people in 11 states fall ill. More than a dozen people have been hospitalized.
"Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick," the CDC notes on its website .
Outbreak Alert: Do not eat any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes… https://t.co/OldnLvCeJL
— CDC (@CDCgov) 1542745231.0
There have also been cases in Canada—15 in Quebec and 3 in Ontario. The Public Health Agency of Canada says people in those provinces should avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce until more is known about the outbreak.
Officials on both sides of the border agree this outbreak is linked to a previous outbreak in 2017.
Health Canada says people in Ontario and Quebec shouldn't eat romaine lettuce. It says there's been 18 cases of E.… https://t.co/K9NHB2MRp0
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) 1542746584.0
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, genetic analysis of the E. coli strain indicates this outbreak isn't linked to the one that occurred back in the spring of 2018 but is related to an epidemic in the fall of 2017.
"Genetic analysis of the E. coli O157:H7 strains tested to date from patients in this current outbreak are similar to strains of E. coli O157:H7 associated with a previous outbreak from the Fall of 2017 that also affected consumers in both Canada and the U.S." the FDA notes on its website.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency is taking steps to "get ahead of this emerging outbreak to reduce risk to consumers; help people protect themselves and families from foodborne illness outbreak, especially ahead of Thanksgiving meals."
"This isn't the first romaine outbreak we've seen in recent past," Gottlieb said in a statement posted to Twitter. "We're taking steps to identify root causes of these events and to prevent future outbreaks. We're committed to working with partners to implement additional safety practices to prevent outbreaks from occurring."
The FDA is asking the food industry to help it contain the outbreak by voluntarily withdrawing romaine products from the market and withholding distribution until the source of the outbreak is identified.
Bottom line: If you've got romaine in the fridge, toss it, mama.