"Among the 18 ill people for whom CDC has information, nine were hospitalized, including one person in California who died".
Produce trade organizations issued a statement that, as of last week, no public health agency had contacted romaine lettuce growers or processors and asked to stop shipping product.
"Even though we can't say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the USA, a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is nearly always consumed raw", James Rogers, director of food safety and research at Consumer Reports, said in a press release.
This does not sit well with DeLauro who asked Fitzgerald a series of questions, such as when the first E. coli infection was reported in the US, when CDC began investigating the outbreak, and what is "CDC's justification for waiting nearly a month and a half before publicly confirming the outbreak?" The information about this outbreak has not been updated by government officials since December 28, 2017.
There's new information on the deadly E. coli outbreak that News 10 has been tracking that could be linked to romaine lettuce.
Consumer Reports say you should also stay away from romaine lettuce served in a cafeteria or restaurant.
The CDC has not definitively connected the outbreak to romaine.
The CDC said it is unable to recommend whether Americans should avoid lettuce, as it has not concluded their investigation.
"The FDA's outbreak investigation team is working with CDC and state and local officials to determine what ill people ate, where they bought it, and the distribution chain - all with the goal of reaching where these foods were produced, to see if there's any common food or point where the food might have become contaminated".
In the US, the FDA, which had not posted any public information about the outbreak until today, is assisting the CDC, but has virtually nothing to report.
Arizona and California produce about 90% of the lettuce and other leafy greens grown in the United States.
The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is bloody and/or watery, and mild fever.
The Public Health Agency of Canada reported 1 death and at least 40 sickened from a similar strain of e. coli.
Canadian health authorities first identified the lettuce link on December 11, then updated its warnings two additional times.
Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, said it's unclear what steps FDA and CDC are taking in the wake of one of the most serious outbreaks that has occurred in the Trump administration.
"This is a risky strain of E. coli that can cause severe illness and even death", said Halloran's statement.