Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce

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The CDC recently put out a warning on Romain Lettuce. Please read below, go to their site for fuller details. I did check Fresh Express which is sold through Ingles and the state on their website “Fresh Express does not currently source any Romaine lettuce from Yuma.  We stand behind our rigorous food safety program and the safety and quality of all our fresh salad and leafy greens products, including Romaine.”

11Alive today posted that, “The CDC is reporting its first Georgia illness from E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce. According to the Georgia Department of Health, a metro Atlanta teen was hospitalized after eating salad containing romaine at a couple of different restaurants in the area. The teen also age bagged romaine bought at a grocery store in the metro area.”

Below is what the CDC is reporting:

Information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick.

Advice to Consumers

  • Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.
  • Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy it if you are uncertain about where it was grown.
  • This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce in a salad mix is romaine, do not eat it.
  • Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
    • Talk to your healthcare provider.
    • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
    • Report your illness to the health department.
    • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
  • Follow these general ways to prevent E. coli infection:
    • Wash your hands. Wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers, before and after preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals.
    • Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are sick.
    • Cook meats thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Cook steaks and roasts to at least 145˚F and let rest for 3 minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove. Cook ground beef and pork to at least 160˚F. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat.
    • Don’t cross-contaminate food preparation areas. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
    • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, unless the package says the contents have been washed.
    • Avoid raw milk, other unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices.

Editor’s Note, Georgia has had only 1 illness reported as of April 25.

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