By: Candess Zona-Mendola of MakeFoodSafe

The latest statistics in the 2019 Romaine Lettuce outbreak are out today. As of December 17, 2019, there are 138 cases of E. coli O157 reported in 25 states – 72 of which have been hospitalized and 13 of which have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.


The FDA and states are still investigating and conducting traceback of the infected lettuce. FDA posted an update on their investigation on December 12, 2019, as follows:

“[O]ur investigation remains a complicated work in progress, and it is too soon to draw definitive conclusions. The FDA, CDC and our state partners have identified a common grower between each of the outbreaks, which is a notable development.”

In the meantime, it appears that the FDA is treating this outbreak as three separate outbreaks: one that includes Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits, one in Wisconsin that includes Fresh Express® brand Leafy Green Romaine lettuce, and another associated with romaine consumption at a local restaurant chain in Washington state.