If it's from the winter-growing regions of the US - the California desert region of the Imperial Valley, the desert region of Arizona in and around Yuma and Florida - it's fine, since people started getting sick before these regions started shipping out their product. At this time, the investigation evidence in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick suggests that there is a risk of E. coli infections associated with eating romaine lettuce.
"The task force will also examine information from this outbreak to identify measures that led to its occurrence and how to prevent ongoing safety problems with romaine lettuce", Gottlieb said.
The FDA said the E. coli O157:H7 strain causing the outbreak is similar to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in the fall of 2017.
"The FDA believes it was critically important to have a "clean break" in the romaine supply available to consumers in the U.S.in order to purge the market of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the current outbreak", Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, said in a news release.
Federal health officials said the most likely source of contamination is from the central coastal growing regions in northern and central California.
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Last week, the FDA said the strain of E. coli O157:H7 causing the current outbreak is genetically link to the strain the caused an outbreak last fall in the US and Canada Twenty-five people got sick - including one death and two incidents of hemolytic uremic syndrome - in 15 states.
And, if you're not sure if the leafy green you're served is actually romaine, ask.
With the growing and harvesting season over there, according to the FDA, people may eat romaine lettuce that has been hydroponically or greenhouse grown, or has been harvested from the winter growing desert regions of the United States, and is labelled such. Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans, but some varieties can cause severe illness. In addition, 22 people in Canada became ill from the lettuce.
This is because of an outbreak of E. Coli (a pathogenic bacteria) that contaminated a large batch of this lettuce. On top of that, Canada's Public Health Agency has identified patients infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli.
If you would like to find out more information, you can contact your nearest state and district health office accessible via the Health Ministry's portal here, or you could get in touch with the Malaysian Food and Safety Quality Division via Facebook here. Thirteen people have been hospitalized. Labeling product as "California-grown" probably wouldn't work, for example, because there's also California-grown lettuce in the Yuma region, which includes Arizona.