The Ministry of Health is advising the public that the romaine lettuce originating from the United States should not be consumed.

It explains that a Health Advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA on Tuesday has identified an outbreak of illnesses in North America relating to the food safety of romaine lettuce within the USA.

The CDC also notes that the outbreak may be linked to a particular type of E. Coli Bacteria.

In a media release the Ministry indicated persons are advised that refrigerated romaine lettuce should be bagged and discarded along with any other food item in direct contact with the lettuce.

It added that refrigerators should be cleared and sanitised before replacing items.

Members of the public exhibiting symptoms consistent with gastroenteritis including: Diarrhea, Severe stomach cramps, vomiting after consuming romaine lettuce should immediately contact their physician or the nearest health facility.

Wholesale Distributors, supermarket and restaurant owners/managers are also advised not to offer for sale, romaine lettuce in any form (such as in Caesar salads) to the public, until clearance is provided by the Ministry of Health.

Thus far, there have been no reported cases of illness in Trinidad and Tobago, as a result of persons consuming romaine lettuce.

However, this advisory is being issued out of an abundance of caution, to protect the health of consumers.

The Ministry will continue to monitor this health concern and provide the public with further updates as and when necessary.

Members of the public may contact the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division at 623-5242, [email protected]  or the Public Health Inspectorate  at 645-4589 or [email protected] for further information.