According to the CDC, since just March 1st of this year, 23 people in four different states have been sick with E. coli illness and there have been 7 other suspected cases. A dozen people were actually hospitalized and three developed a life-threatening type of kidney failure. While no deaths have been reported, the outbreaks are enough to make some people think bagged lettuce should be off limits.
A piece just came out today, in the Washington Post, covering varying perspectives on bagged produce safety vs. whole veggie safety. Some think bagged produce is no more dangerous than whole veggies but many, after all these specific E. coli outbreaks related to bagged produce, disagree.
The Post notes...
I think you should wash all veggies regardless of where you get them. AND no matter if they're organic or not. We've discussed this here before at Green Options and food safety is up to you - we can't really count on other people to protect us. Especially not the FDA or USDA or grocery stores. None of them have proven themselves to care all that much about consumer safety related to safe organics (and other stuff for that matter).