Quad City retailers pull romaine lettuce from shelves amid E. coli outbreak

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The Centers for Control and Prevention is investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce that has made 32 people sick in 11 different states, including two cases in Illinois.

The Rock Island County Health Department says consumers should toss out their romaine lettuce even if they've eaten some already and haven't felt sick.

"They should throw it away immediately," said county health department Chief Operating Officer Janet Hill. "And then they should clean and sanitize their refrigerator. And then wash their hands after they do all of that work."

The CDC advised restaurants not to serve romaine lettuce and for retailers not to sell it. Grocery stores across the Quad Cities have pulled romaine off their produce shelves.

"Unfortunately it's probably all just going to have to be thrown out," said Rock Island Save-A-Lot Manager Chad Torrence. "Not knowing if it's contaminated or not, we really can't take the risk of selling any of it."

E. coli symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Infections vary widely in severity, from mild to deadly in some cases. If you experience any symptoms of E. coli, health authorities say you should talk to your healthcare provider and write down what you ate the week before you started to get sick.

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