American consumers beware: Do not eat romaine lettuce

American consumers are being advised to immediately throw out any romaine lettuce they have at home — and thoroughly disinfect their kitchens following an E. coli outbreak in the popular vegetable.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is also asking grocery stores and restaurants to cease selling or serving the food staple until further notice.

So far, 32 people in 11 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli — with 13 of them requiring hospitalization.

This outbreak also includes Canada, where 18 cases have been identified.

It’s a popular kitchen vegetable many of us love — but get rid of it right away if you happen to have some in your kitchen.

Indeed, if you have any type of romaine lettuce at home, including whole heads, hearts of romaine, bags of pre-cut lettuce or salad mixes containing romaine, do not eat them and throw away immediately.

Next, make sure to wash and sanitize any drawers or shelves the lettuce may have come into contact with.

Image result for salad romaine lettuce
Wikimedia Commons

E. Coli bacteria

According to the CDC, affected individuals start to show signs of being sick two to eight days after swallowing the harmful bacteria, which can lead to kidney failure and in the most severe cases, death.

See the video below for more on the E. coli bacteria — if you have any symptoms of an E. coli infection, see a doctor immediately.

Please immediately share this warning with everyone you know to help prevent this outbreak from affecting anyone else.