The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it has identified an additional 27 people with infections linked to romaine lettuce, which brings the total number of infected persons to 67.
The 67 cases related to the E.coli outbreak were found in 19 states. The CDC said Tuesday that 39 people were hospitalized.
Last week, the agency warned consumers to avoid romaine lettuce produced in the Salinas, California, region.
“FDA and states continue to trace the source of the romaine lettuce eaten by ill people. Preliminary information indicates that some of the ill people ate lettuce grown in Salinas, California. No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified,” the agency said. “CDC continues to advise that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness.”
The CDC, however, noted that there have been no fatalities associated with the tainted romaine.
Most romaine lettuce products have a label with its harvest location, according to the CDC. The agency said that if the growing region isn’t listed, don’t eat it.
“We are concerned about the potential for contaminated lettuce on store shelves and in people’s refrigerators,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, told USA Today. “Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, it is critically important to avoid buying or eating romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing area so you can protect yourself and your family.”