Chopped Romaine Lettuce Unsafe? Multistate E. Coli Outbreak Linked To Vegetable
17 April, 2018, 02:44
"I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy", said Louise Fraser, of Readington Township, summing up her recent battle with E. coli that she claims was from romaine lettuce eaten at a Panera Bread in Raritan. Freshway recalled romaine lettuce and romaine lettuce products sold to the Schnucks supermarket chain on Friday.
Specifically, government officials are advising consumers not to consume packaged, chopped romaine from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. No specific grower, supplier, distributors, or brand has been identified. No one has died.
Thirty-five people in 11 states are sick in this E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak. Officials also warned about salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the outbreak spiked last week on April 10 when it added 18 people from nine states to the infected list. Seven were reported ill in New Jersey. A smaller number of cases were reported in Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington state, CR reported. The CDC says all the victims were sickened between March 22 and March 31, with most reporting that they ate romaine within a week of getting sick. The CDC has not responded to an inquiry about the two states.
CDC urged people to check the origin of the romaine lettuce before buying it at a grocery store or ordering it at a restaurant. An investigation is continuing, and no products have been recalled. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads. There is no information to indicate that whole head romaine lettuce or hearts of romaine are involved in this outbreak. The Produce Marketing Association, Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, United Fresh and Western Growers released a statement on the outbreak, and reassured consumers that almost all romaine lettuce now being harvested and shipped throughout the U.S.is from the California growing areas.
The hemolytic uremic syndrome occurs as a result of the abnormal destruction of red blood cells.
Symptoms of E. coli infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting.
Health officials said children under the age of 5, seniors older than 65 and those with weak immune systems are most vulnerable. Thirty-two people from a dozen states were sickened, CDC said. The outbreak is the same potentially deadly strain of E. coli, 0157:H7, that occurred late a year ago in the US and Canada, but the CDC does not believe it is connected with the earlier outbreak. Some of its types are pathogenic that can cause illness through exposure to contaminated food or water, or contact with animals or other people.
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