Food Safety Alert: Update on the Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 14, 2018
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC update on the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce has been posted:


  • The FDA, along with CDC and state partners, is investigating farms and cooling facilities in California that were identified in traceback. CDC has identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in sediment collected within an agricultural water reservoir on an Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. farm, which was identified in traceback.
  • CDC is advising that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce harvested from Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara counties in the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California while FDA continues its investigation of farms identified in traceback.
  • Some romaine lettuce products are now labeled with a harvest location by region. Check bags or boxes for a label indicating where the lettuce was harvested.
  • If the romaine lettuce is not labeled or if you cannot identify where it is from, do not buy, serve, sell, or eat it.
  • Seven additional people have been reported since the last update on December 6, 2018. This brings the total to 59 cases from 15 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Twenty-three people have been hospitalized, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 5, 2018 to November 16, 2018. We expect to see additional illnesses reported due to the 2-3 week time period from when a person gets sick to when it is reported to CDC.
  • People with symptoms of an E. coli infection, such as severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, who think they might have gotten sick from eating romaine lettuce, should talk to their doctor and report their illness to the health department.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients with a suspected E.coli O157 infection, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


Page last reviewed: December 14, 2018