The New Jersey Department of Health on Friday said that people "who have bought romaine lettuce - including salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce - should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick".
So far, the contaminated lettuce can be traced only to the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.
"Consumer Reports is making this recommendation given the potentially fatal consequences of E. coli, the fact that there are still several unknowns about this outbreak, and that no type of romaine has been ruled definitively safe by government officials", said James E. Rogers, director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports.
Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. There, doctors confirmed diagnosed her with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure, the lawsuit said.
In New Jersey, seven people in four counties have contracted E. coli related to the outbreak - including four in Hunterdon County, and one each in Monmouth, Sussex and Somerset counties, according to state health officials. No deaths have been reported, but 22 people have been hospitalized.
Panera bread says they have begun getting shipments of romaine lettuce from a different provider, after a warning from the Centers for Disease Control regarding a possible E. coli contamination in romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region.
Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Most people get better within 5 to 7 days. Most of those people ate salad at a restaurant; romaine lettuce was the common ingredient. Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.
However, Consumer Reports is advising against consumers purchasing any romaine lettuce regardless of where it's grown while the outbreak is ongoing, including unbagged romaine or hearts of romaine.
The CDC reports that this investigation remains active, and that it will provide an update when it can.
A Valley-based restaurant chain is switching things up in response to a warning from the CDC over romaine lettuce.
The FDA, in conjunction with federal, state, and local partners, found that the chopped romaine in question was grown or originated from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona.
Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an April 13 outbreak update that the investigation continues and that it will share more information as it becomes available.