November 21, 2018




Port-of-Spain, November 21st, 2018: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has noted that a Health Advisory issued by the by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA on November 20th, 2018, 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. As such, the MoH advises the public that the romaine lettuce originating from the US should not be consumed.

Homeowners are advised that refrigerated romaine lettuce should be bagged and discarded along with any other food item in direct contact with the lettuce. 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 (CFDD) at 623-5242,  or the Public Health Inspectorate (PHI) at 645-4589 or for further information.