Hy-Vee, Fareway pull romaine lettuce after CDC issues E. coli warning
A new outbreak of E. coli in 11 states has been linked by government investigators to bagged, chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz. Consumer Reports is recommending—for the second time since January—that consumers avoid all romaine lettuce for
Hy-Vee and Fareway grocery stores are removing all romaine lettuce from store shelves after new warnings of E. coli contamination.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are pulling all Romaine lettuce as well as any product containing romaine lettuce from our 248 stores today," said Tina Potthoff, Hy-Vee spokeswoman.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a food safety alert warning consumers "not to eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not to serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak."
The CDC advised consumers to throw out any romaine lettuce and to sanitize refrigerator shelves where the lettuce had been stored.
At least 32 people in 11 states have gotten sick from the same strain of E. coli in the outbreak. The illnesses started in October and have hospitalized at least 13 people, including one with a kind of kidney failure, the CDC said.
The agency suggested that all forms of the lettuce be discarded including "whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of pre-cut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad."
The food safety alert comes just two days before Thanksgiving.
E. coli symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
"Most people get better within five to seven days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening," the CDC warned.
The infection symptoms can start three to four days and up to 10 days after consuming contaminated food, the agency said.