Do not eat romaine lettuce, at all: Health Canada

Health Canada is issuing a warning about romaine lettuce — until further notice, don't eat it, at all, if you live in Ontario and Quebec.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a renewed warning Tuesday, urging consumers across the U.S. not to eat romaine lettuce in any form, in response to a new outbreak of E. coli.

The warning urged Americans to stop eating romaine lettuce, and toss out whatever lettuce they may have.

Here in Canada, meanwhile, Health Canada is reporting 18 cases of E. coli contamination tied to lettuce — 15 cases in Quebec, and the other three in Ontario. The illnesses are said to have been reported between the middle of October and the beginning of November.

No deaths have been reported, but 13 of the people who fell ill in the U.S. needed to be hospitalized.

The E. coli strain that's been identified is different from the one linked with romaine lettuce earlier this year, but appears to be similar to one linked to leafy greens last year.

Most E. coli bacteria are benign but some can cause illness, with symptoms including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

With files from the Associated Press.