There’s been an outbreak in e coli infection, and romaine lettuce is the culprit. 42 people across the United States have been infected with e coli, and at least 13 of those people have been hospitalized from just eating the infected lettuce. One person even developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a kidney disease that can be potentially fatal.
Symptoms of e coli infection include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms begin to show about three or four days after consuming the bacteria, and the symptoms tend to go away within five to seven days. People of all ages are at risk of infection, but children under 5 and older people over 65 are more likely to become seriously ill due to their weaker immune systems.
But this isn’t the first time there’s been an outbreak of e coli in romaine lettuce–in fact, there was an outbreak just earlier this year in April. Maybe that’s why the internet is responding to this seemingly serious news with jokes and memes. Some people Tweeted puns like “lettuce romaine calm”, and others lamented the fact that the outbreak coincided with Thanksgiving: “Well, my all romaine Thanksgiving is ruined,” joked one Twitter user.
Nonetheless, the Food and Drug Administration recommends staying away from all kinds of romaine lettuce until the outbreak is over. Although the e coli-infected lettuce is suspected to come from California, people should avoid all romaine lettuce, no matter where it came from.