Is romaine lettuce safe to eat despite E. coli outbreak?

Is romaine lettuce safe to eat despite E. coli outbreak?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its warning, urging people to avoid all types of romaine lettuce coming from Yuma, Arizona.

"This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30 percent", the CDC said in a press release.

Last week, the agency broadened its warning, saying consumers should not eat or buy romaine in any form - including whole heads, hearts, chopped, or in salad mixes - unless they can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Ariz. growing region.

Karen Adkins, director of dining and dining initiatives, said in email that romaine lettuce will no longer be served in dining areas until more information is received. Severe cases can lead to kidney failure and symptoms include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.

More than 80 people across the country have now been reported ill from the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

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People who now have store-bought romaine lettuce in their homes are urged to throw it away, even if someone in the household ate the product without getting sick. "No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified", the department reported on April 20.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to April 12, 2018. The infected romaine lettuce has been tracked to Yuma, Arizona, which is a popular growing region for the vegetable.

"We wound up not getting a shipment at the end of last week like we normally would so basically we were out romaine lettuce", said Tom Drivas, owner of Nittany Pizza.

Clark says his law firm has gotten calls from many people who've claimed they've gotten sick from this outbreak. While E. coli can survive a good scrubbing, the idea that animal poop makes it onto your lettuce should be enough to prompt you to keep your leafy greens under the faucet for at least a few extra seconds. However, he said there are renegade strains - such as strain O157:H7 - which cause severe illness, tissue damage and if left untreated, death. However, E. coli can be life-threatening, especially to young children and the elderly. Most people recover in five to seven days.

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