INDIANAPOLIS -- Consumer Reports, a product testing and research website and magazine, is advising everybody in the United States to avoid eating romaine lettuce after multiple people have become ill with E. coli, possibly because of the lettuce they ate.
The Centers for Disease Control is investigating 17 illnesses in 13 states. Canada's public health agency is also investigating many E. coli outbreaks in its country.
Canada has linked the illnesses to romaine lettuce, but U.S. government stopped short of recommending people avoid a particular food.
But Consumer Reports' food safety specialists are making that recommendation.
"Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw," said James Rogers, Ph.D., Director of Food Safety and Research at Consumer Reports.
This type of E. coli, known as O157:H7, can cause bloody diarrhea, kidney failure or death. Two people, one in the United States, have died from the E. coli.
The FDA has not issued a recall or issued a warning about romaine lettuce.