Skip to main content

You might want to avoid eating romaine lettuce for now

Health officials say it could be the cause of an E. coli outbreak.

You might wanna skip that Caesar salad at dinner tonight.

Romaine lettuce may be linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened people in multiple states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Dec. 28, 17 people had been infected with the toxic bacteria in 13 states. Minnesota isn't on the list, but cases have been reported in nearby Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

A larger outbreak is happening in Canada, where the Public Health Agency of Canada has flat out named romaine lettuce as the culprit. American health officials are a bit more conservative, with the CDC stating it has yet to find a specific cause.

The agency is still investigating, as are several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They're interviewing sick people to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started.

Because it has not identified a source of the infections, the CDC says it is "unable to recommend" whether U.S. residents should avoid romaine lettuce.

That also means the agency hasn't named what brands or types of romaine lettuce might be involved. And as Modern Farmer points out, it could take a long time for a recall to happen in the U.S. – meaning more people could get sick in the meantime.

To that, the CDC's website says: "Officials thoroughly investigate each outbreak, and they are constantly developing new ways to investigate and solve outbreaks faster."

Canadian health officials say they are still working to determine the exact source of the iffy romaine lettuce. Most of the Canadians who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains.

Consumer Reports is advising Americans not to eat romaine lettuce, noting that this strain of E. coli, called 0157:H7, produces a toxin that in some cases can lead to serious illness, kidney failure, and even death. 

Young children, the elderly, and anyone who has an existing condition (such as cancer or diabetes) that weakens the immune system are at greater risk.

Next Up

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.


1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.


St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.


LUSH in Minneapolis to reopen under new ownership in December

FOX 9's Jason Matheson and two popular performers are among the new owners of the revived bar and restaurant.

unsplash roller blade close

Lace up: Indoor skating returns to US Bank Stadium this winter

The venue announced 13 Winter Warm-Up dates for both skaters and runners.


Why uncooked flour can make you sick

Researchers say last year's E. coli outbreak wasn't a fluke.

Put down that lettuce before you get e.Coli

The CDC is advising American consumers not to eat store-bought, chopped romaine.

10 Minnesotans get E. coli from Romaine lettuce

The CDC advised Americans to steer clear of the lettuce last month.

CDC: It's safe to eat SOME kinds of romaine lettuce

It all depends on where the lettuce is grown.

2 dead in Minnesota from Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

Only California and Pennsylvania have reported more cases.

Lettuce tainted with E. coli sickens 2 in Minnesota

At least two Minnesotans were hospitalized after eating romaine lettuce tainted with E. coli. At least 60 people were sickened nationwide. Two suffered kidney failure.

Tamale pie might be what sickened 137 jail inmates

The health department found bacteria in their food.