UPDATED: E.Coli sickens at least 35 people in 11 states; chopped romaine lettuce identified as source; New Jersey has confirmed 7 cases; Notice from Dr. Shanik

Chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region is likely the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least seven New Jersey residents and a total of 35 people in 11 states, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

At this time, the CDC said, no grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.

Consumers 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. If you don’t know if the lettuce is romaine, throw it away. Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that the romaine lettuce did not come from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

“Individuals with this infection usually get better within about 5 to 7 days, however some illnesses can be serious or even life-threatening,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “Anyone experiencing symptoms of this illness should see a healthcare provider.”

The symptoms of E. coli infection vary. Some individuals may have mild to severe diarrhea, which may contain blood. Abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting may occur. Usually there is little or no fever present. We encourage people to contact their health care provider if they have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that they cannot keep liquids down and they pass very little urine.

In addition, about 5 to 10% of people who are diagnosed with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS develops about 7 days after symptoms first appear, when diarrhea is improving. Clues that someone is developing HUS include decreased frequency of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Any who develop these symptoms should seek out medical care immediately.

Currently in New Jersey, DOH has confirmed a total of seven cases of E. Coli; 4 in Hunterdon County, and one each in Monmouth, Sussex and Somerset counties. As additional testing is completed, more cases may be added. DOH is continuing to work with our local health partners to identify, interview and obtain lab specimens from New Jersey residents who may have become ill from this contaminated food.

The CDC also advises that all restaurants and retailers ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce and refrain from selling or servicing any that was grown in Yuma, Arizona.

UPDATE 4:50 PM: Dr. Shanik told TLS moments ago that based on this notice, residents should refrain from eating Romaine lettuce until further notice. Iceberg lettuce is okay.


This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. If non Jews who bought non kosher lettuce were effected we can safely assume it’s where the kosher lettuce grow as that comes from specific greenhouses so no need for the kosher consumers to be concerned.

  2. To Woodstock: Kosher consumers buy from bags for kosher purposes, not for convenience. I leave it to others to elaborate if they wish.

  3. Is the e coli only in chopped lettuce? Or is it found in heads of lettuce not pre washed? How would we know if the lettuce is from that region?

  4. Dr.Shanik knows everything that posters to this blog know and yet he says to refrain from buying ALL romaine lettuce for time being.I think it’s wise to heed him!

  5. Bodek is from California which for all intent and purposes is around the corner from arizona. Dont be so clever and assume its ok when a very reputable doctors are saying otherwise.

  6. This is straight from the CDC, as with Zika and visiting Florida. I’d like to see some comments that come from the doctor’s head and heart, based on messages from the CDC. Things like testing local ticks for lyme and co-infections, Studying how heavy metals have been affecting our community, limiting the nosh and preservatives we are eating. But no its all about the swimming pools, the lettuce and Zika. Dr Shanik is a really smart doctor who has seen a lot. Creating awareness based on ANECDOTAL Community evidence and using the large pools of patients to create and raise studies would keep a lot of our community healthier.

Comments are closed.