Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Chopped Romaine Lettuce Linked to E. Coli Outbreak

Chopped Romaine Lettuce Linked to E. Coli Outbreak

If you've bought lettuce lately throw it out, chances are it will make you sick. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified. Romaine lettuce is the one behind a recent e-coli outbreak impacting consumers across the country but that lettuce was grown in Yuma so we are the most likely to have it in our grocery stores. Confirmed and suspected cases have also been identified in Missoula, Lincoln and Ravalli counties.

"Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick", the CDC said. It can take up to 3 to 4 days for symptoms to appear, meaning more cases may be forthcoming. This takes an average of two to three weeks. A smaller number of cases were reported in Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington state, CR reported.

"Consumer Reports is making this recommendation given the potentially fatal consequences of E. coli, the fact that there are still several unknowns about this outbreak, and that no type of romaine has been ruled definitively safe by government officials", Consumer Reports Director of Food Safety Research and Testing James E. Rogers, Ph.D., said.

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This recommendation goes beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, which is to confirm that any bagged romaine didn't originate in the Yuma area before purchasing. While none of the cases reported have been linked to Fresh Food products, the company said its concerned that its romaine supplier may have been involved in the outbreak. Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, decreased urination or presence of blood in the urine, seizures, fatigue, bleeding from the nose and mouth, pallor, abdominal pain, vomiting, swelling, high blood pressure, and fever.

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