Avoid romaine lettuce for now, Consumer Reports says

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The Center for Disease Control is investigating an E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce that has sickened at least 58 people in the USA and Canada.

Seventeen incidents have been reported in California, Illinois, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington from November 15 through December 8, 2017.

One person has died in the United States and one in Canada, Consumer Reports said. There's also been one reported death in Canada. Still, the CDC says it does not have enough information to recommend people in the US avoid any particular food.

During the past seven weeks, 58 people in the US and Canada have become ill from the strain of E. coli O157: H7. Two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

Consumer Reports is recommending that Americans avoid all romaine lettuce for now, but other food safety experts say it may be too soon to blame romaine for the outbreak. "The outbreak appears to be ongoing, as illnesses linked to romaine lettuce continue to be reported", the Canadian agency said.

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- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli infections. The Public Health Agency of Canada is also investigating a similar outbreak-- and tests are being done to see if those are related to the illnesses in the U.S.

US authorities said Thursday that they continue to investigate a deadly multistate outbreak of E. coli infections that may be tied to romaine lettuce.

"The FDA should follow the lead of the Canadian government and immediately warn the public about this risk", she said. "Although some sick people reported eating romaine lettuce, preliminary data available at this time shows they were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine, based on a CDC food consumption survey". Infections with E. coli O157 can be life-threatening, especially for the elderly, the very young and immune-compromised people, such as cancer patients, Williams said.

Fowlie told ABC News Thursday that the CDC is still collecting information to determine whether there is a food item in common among the sick people, including leafy greens and romaine. "People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce", Rogers said.

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