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E. Coli Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Is Still Making People Sick



Image: Scott Olson (AP)

Romaine lettuce enthusiasts,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday that nine more cases of sickened individuals have been committed to the ongoing E. coli outbreak as its last update about two weeks ago. All told, 52 cases of people have been reported across 15 states since October, according to the agency. Canada has reported results in cases linked to the E. coli strain.

The outbreak is believed to have grown in northern and central parts of California, and the CDC said that unless you can 100 percent certain that your romaine is not from that region, do not even think about eating it. That goes for both store-bought romaine as well as any served at restaurants. When shopping for romaine lettuce of any kind- if you must look out for the harvest location.

"Some romaine lettuce products are now labeled with a harvest location by region," the CDC said. Basically, if you can not tell where it came from, it's not well labeled, just toss it!

"Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should check bags or boxes of romaine lettuce for a label." ]

The strain behind the outbreak, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157: H7, has been linked to 19 hospitalizations and two cases of kidney failure thus far. People who ingested the G-2 report said about two to eight days later, the CDC said. Symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli may well be unpleasant and include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and severe stomach pain.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Friday that the agency's ongoing investigation into the outbreak "has implicated 10 different distributors, 12 different growers and 11 different farms as potential sources of contaminated lettuce.

If you must eat it, be careful. But honestly, at least for the time being, it's probably not a bad idea to just defer to other, less problematic roughage.

[CDC]


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