The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have initiated an investigation on the multistate outbreak of E coli O157: H7, likely linked to romaine lettuce.

Federal health officials are gathering information to determine the source of contamination.

The US agencies are coordinating with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), which is engaged in the investigation of a similar outbreak in Canada.

At this time, the FDA has advised people not to consume or serve romaine lettuce and to discard any product until further notice.

“The FDA has advised people not to consume or serve romaine lettuce and to discard any product until further notice.”

The FDA has been working closely with the leafy greens industry, as well as state and federal partners to implement safety practices that can help further reduce the risk of these types of outbreaks.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said: “The quick and aggressive steps we’re taking today are aimed at making sure we get ahead of this emerging outbreak, to reduce risk to consumers and to help people protect themselves and their families from this foodborne illness outbreak.

“While we’ve made progress, it’s still early in this investigation and work remains to pinpoint the source of contamination that contributed to this outbreak and allow us to employ more targeted measures to reduce future risk.”

The federal authority advised consumers to immediately approach a health care professional if they experience symptoms of an E. coli O157: H7 infection.