CDC investigation update of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC investigation update of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections has been posted:

What is new:

  • CDC continues to advise consumers and retailers not to eat, sell or serve lettuce grown in the Salinas, Calif., growing region.
  • Since the last update on November 22, an additional 27 ill people have been reported, bringing to the total to 67 cases in 19 states.
  • A total of 39 hospitalizations have been reported. Six people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence collected to date indicate that romaine lettuce from the Salinas, Calif., growing region may be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 and is making people sick.
  • This is a rapidly evolving investigation. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Advice to consumers, retailers and restaurants:

  • Consumers should not eat and retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve any romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, Calif., growing region. This includes all use-by dates and brands of romaine lettuce from this region.
  • This advice includes all types of romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, such as whole heads of romaine; hearts of romaine; packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, Caesar salad, and organic romaine; and wraps or sandwiches that contain romaine.
  • If you have romaine lettuce or packaged foods containing romaine at your home, look for a label showing where the romaine was grown. If the label says “grown in Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location), don’t eat it. Throw it away.
  • If the label doesn’t identify the growing region or if you don’t know if the salad in a salad mix or wrap contains romaine, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
  • Restaurants and retailers should check the label on bags or boxes of romaine lettuce or ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.
  • Suppliers, distributors, and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell romaine harvested in Salinas, California.

About Shiga toxin-producing E. coli:

  • People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • More information can be found here:

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.