Warning out against romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce from Salinas, California, should be avoided.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is issuing a public health warning against the consumption and sale of romaine lettuce products from the Salinas, California, growing region. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating an outbreak of illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7 linked to the romaine lettuce from this particular region.

This warning is for all forms of romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region, such as, whole heads of romaine lettuce, hearts of romaine, and packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad. If you are in possession of romaine lettuce from the affected region, do not consume, serve, or sell it. If you are unable to determine the source of your romaine lettuce, you should not consume, serve, or sell the product, it should be discarded.

Additionally, the public should avoid salad products from Fresh Express brand Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with UPC 0 71279 30906 4, beginning with lot code Z, and a best before date up to and including 07DEC19, that were recalled by the FDA in connection with the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The product list can be found in the original press release at:

Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider. E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

The Division of Environmental Health is currently conducting a recall effectiveness check with local retailers, wholesalers, and distributors to determine if the affected product is being sold or distributed on island.

The Department has not received any local report of injuries or illnesses associated with the consumption of these recalled commodities. Consumers with questions may contact the USDA at 1-888-674-6854, or the FDA at 888-463-6332.

For any questions, please contact the Consumer Commodities Program at the Division of Environmental Health at 300-9579.