The reports and social media posts warning of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria outbreak from romaine lettuce is false according to Palau’s Ministry of Health information released today.  There is no E. coli outbreak in Palau and that news articles and social media posts of supposed E. coli bacteria outbreak due to consumption of romaine lettuce in United States is also not true.

Ministry of Health’s report stated that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported the last E. coli outbreak in the U.S. in romaine lettuce was in late 2018 and was officially over by January 2019.  Sixty-seven (67) people from seventeen (17) states were affected.

According to Ministry of Health, E. coli bacteria is found in the environment, foods, intestines of people and animals and are mostly harmless.  Some E. coli bacteria strains although can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses and others.

MOH emphasized that there is no E. coli bacteria outbreak in the romaine lettuce   or other foods in Palau and that the Bureau of Public Health is working with food handlers to ensure that proper food handling procedures are followed to ensure safety.