Public health officials are warning consumers not to eat store-bought, chopped romaine lettuce as an E. coli outbreak linked to the vegetable worsens.  Fifty-three related E. coli infections have been reported in 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the past several days, 18 new cases have been added to the CDC’s investigation, including some in states where E. coli illnesses hadn’t yet been reported.

Additionally, the CDC said, “nine more hospitalizations have been reported, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.” The CDC said the exact source of the tainted lettuce hasn’t been identified, but that “information collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region could be contaminated … and could make people sick.” READ MORE