For years, people have called me a weirdo because I just can't stomach lettuce.  Well, that food aversion may actually be keeping me healthy! 

When we're at fancy events, I'll try to choke down the salad to be polite but I just couldn't bring myself to stick my fork into it at the Festival of Trees Gala the other night. Why? Because it was too dark in the room for me to determine what type of greens were in the salad and after the CDC issued a food safety alert telling people to throw away ALL romaine lettuce, I just didn't want to risk it!

According to KTVB, the CDC more that 32 people in the United States have fallen ill with E. Coli infections after eating romaine lettuce.  In 13 of those cases, the patient was hospitalized and one is suffering kidney failure. A similar agency in Canada is reporting 18 cases of the same infection.  Neither agency has been able to track the E. Coli contamination back to a specific brand or distributor, so to be safe they're telling people to avoid all types of romaine lettuce.

That means if you purchased whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, bags or boxes of pre-cut lettuce or salad mixes that contain romaine, including spring mix and Caesar salad.  If you're not sure if there's romaine lettuce in the bagged or boxed salad that you bought for Turkey Day, throw it out too.  The CDC also recommends washing and sanitizing the parts of your refrigerator where you had the romaine lettuce to minimize the risk of infection.

If you have consumed romaine contaminated with E. Coli, it could take 2-8 days for you to get sick and you may experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.  It's important to visit your healthcare provider if you're experiencing those symptoms because untreated E. Coli infections could lead to kidney failure.

This most recent out break is unrelated to the one earlier this year.  There have been no reported cases of illness in Idaho yet.  The closest state to experiencing the outbreak is California where there have been 10 reported cases.