Updated Nov 26, 2019 - Health

CDC: Avoid romaine lettuce from California's Salinas Valley

Romaine lettuce.

Photo Illustration: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned consumers that romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley, a major agricultural region in California, may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

Why it matters: Maryland health officials tested the strain of E. coli that is "closely related genetically" to the type found in sick people in the latest outbreak, per the CDC. As of Tuesday, 67 people in 19 states have been infected

Be smart: The CDC has urged restaurants and retailers not to serve or sell romaine lettuce from the region and for people to throw it away, as the investigation remains ongoing.

  • Most romaine packaging has a label indicating where it was grown. The CDC urges people to dispose of any packages that aren't labeled.
  • Officials haven't figured out the cause of the toxic strain of E. coli bacteria, but "[c]ontaminated agricultural water is a prime suspect in these outbreaks," per the Washington Post.

Go deeper: Study: How the E. coli bacteria becomes antibiotic resistant

Go deeper