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Warning: It’s Still Unsafe to Eat Romaine Lettuce; Dr. Offers Tips

November 26th, 2018
E.coli and Lettuce

Last week, food-safety investigators traced the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak to Californian growing fields. Thirty-two illnesses have been reported from 11 states, including 13 people who have been hospitalized. Today, the CDC says it's unsafe to eat the leafy green in New York and 10 other states.

Dr. Michael Moskowitz, co-chairman of Catholic Health Services’ Primary Care Service Line with offices in Bellmore and at Mercy Medical Center, offers the following advice to consumers, retailers and restaurants:

  • Do not eat any type of romaine lettuce
  • If you have some in your home, throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. This includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and caesar salad.
  • If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
  • People with symptoms of an coli infection(, such as severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, should talk to their doctor and report their illness to the health department.

 For clinicians, Dr. Moskowitz said:

  • Antibiotics are not recommended( for patients with coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients in whom E.coli O157 infection is suspected, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.
  • Tell patient to throw out all romaine lettuce, wash all other food thoroughly and cook all meat to at least 160 degrees

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Moskowitz call 516-62-MERCY or 516-626-3729. 


About Mercy Medical Center
Celebrating more than 100 years, Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, as well as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Mercy is also the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and consecutive Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. And, in recognition of the value it places on superior nursing care, Mercy has the Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mercy provides comprehensive medical and surgical care and is a leader in minimally-invasive surgery, joint-replacement, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, spine and neurosurgery, in-patient acute rehabilitation, diagnostic and interventional radiology, maternity and newborn services and women’s health. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® is a registered trademark of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Mery is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island (CHSLI). Contact us at 516-62-MERCY or

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