Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday advised consumers to avoid all romaine lettuce after an outbreak of E. coli affecting 32 people.
The 32 cases span 11 U.S. states -- 10 cases in California, seven in Michigan, three in New Jersey and one or two cases in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin -- the CDC said in an advisory. At least 13 people have been hospitalized, including one person who developed a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.
Additionally, the Public Health Agency of Canada identified 18 infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Romaine lettuce has been identified as the source of the outbreak, prompting the CDC to advise consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce because no common grower, supplier, distributor or brand of the produce has been identified.
The CDC also recommended retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any romaine lettuce until more is known about the outbreak as it investigates the incident.
Illnesses began between Oct. 8 and Oct. 31, with ill people ranging in ages from 7 to 84, with a median age of 24. Sixty-six percent of patients were female, the CDC said.
Any illnesses occurring after Oct. 30 may have not been reported yet, as it takes between two weeks and three weeks for a person with E. coli to experience symptoms of illness.
About 79 percent of ill people interviewed reported eating romaine lettuce the week before they became ill, while interviews of healthy people revealed 47 percent of healthy people reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before the interview.
The CDC recommends consumers, restaurants and retailers dispose of all romaine lettuce, including whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.