The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a strong blanket statement about romaine lettuce - just in time for the holidays:  Don't eat it.  Health officials in the United States and Canada are scrambling to research and stop an outbreak of E. coli that has made 32 people in 11 different states and another 18 in Canada sick.  As of now there have been no deaths reported but 13 of the American cases were sick enough to require hospitalization.

The current round of E. coli concerns doesn't appear to be connected to an outbreak that occurred earlier this year.  In that case the origin was quickly identified and taken care of.  In this present outbreak, there is no known source of origin and identifying it has been difficult; Romaine - much like other lettuces - often gets packaged and bagged by middlemen which makes tracing it's source difficult.

At the present time there isn't a recall (due in large part to the sourcing info detailed above).  However, the FDA is suggesting that everyone stop consuming Romaine for the time being.

Locally, there has been one confirmed E. coli case in Wisconsin; none have been reported so far in Minnesota.

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