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Bacterial infection warning over romaine lettuce — a good reason to buy local produce

The Centers for Disease Control is warning consumers about romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Aris, saying it may cause illness due to E. coli bacteria. Dozens of people from nearly 20 states have recently been sickened by the bacteria. (April 26) AP

Saipan, CNMI — Consumers in the Northern Marianas have been warned against eating romaine lettuce due to the risk of bacterial infection and this warning could also apply to other Pacific islands that import romaine from the U.S.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the US Food and Drug Administration issued a health warning on an ongoing widespread, multi-state outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by romaine lettuce exposed to E. coli bacteria.

Based on the information collected by the CDC, the supply of romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona could be contaminated.

Last week, the CDC reported 35 illnesses in 11 states.

The CDC advises consumers not to buy or consume romaine lettuce that comes from Yuma, but warns that lettuce products are often not marked with their source.