Stay Away From Romaine Lettuce, Consumer Reports Advises

05 January, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • CDC Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

Canadian health authorities have identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada, Consumer Reports said.

Health officials are warning the public about a risky strain of E. coli that may be linked to romaine lettuce. Though the source of infection is still unknown, the CDC is investigating leafy greens and romaine lettuce.

Thorough cooking usually kills foodborne bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella, but lettuce is not usually cooked.

Officials said one person has died in the US and another in Canada.

Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, a division of Consumer Reports, said the US Food and Drug Administration should follow Canada's example and immediately warn the public about the potential risk from romaine lettuce. However, Sobeys stores have started selling romaine lettuce again after tests by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came back negative for E. coli. Otherwise, she adds, "more may get sick". The states include: California (3), CT (2), IL (1), IN (1), MI (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), NY (1), OH (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), Vermont (1) and Washington (1).

"We're very hopeful that things are wrapping up, but we don't have enough data to say that".

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Grocery chain Bashas' spokesperson Ashley Shick said none of the store's romaine suppliers, which are from Yuma and California, were connected to the CDC's ongoing investigation.

It can take weeks to track down the source of a food poisoning outbreak. Williams said investigators are in the process of reviewing information from shopper cards to look for food source clues and at sequencing information from more isolates to see if they are part of the outbreak. "People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce", Rogers said.

"Do not buy romaine lettuce and don't use any that you may have in your refrigerator until there is more information on the source of contamination". Remember that romaine may also be lurking in bags of mixed greens.

The United Fresh Produce Association said it's not clear that throwing out romaine lettuce would do any good.

On Dec. 28, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it was investigating an outbreak involving a type of bacteria called E. coli O157:H7. They may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, pain or tenderness and diarrhea. Two patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney complication.

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