Tuesday, November 20, 2018

CDC warns Michiganders to avoid romaine lettuce amid new E. Coli outbreak

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 4:48 PM

click to enlarge YOSSI JAMES / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Yossi James / Shutterstock

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is once again warning Americans to avoid romaine lettuce as it investigates a new E. coli outbreak.

In a Tuesday statement, the CDC said consumers, retailers, and restaurants should should throw away any romaine lettuce or salad mixes that include romaine. That includes lettuce sold or served in Michigan.
The agency reports that 32 people in 11 states — including Michigan — have gotten sick from the same strain in an outbreak that started in October. At least 13 people have been hospitalized. Additionally, 18 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec have also been sickened by the same E. Coli strain.

E. Coli tainted romaine is believed to have sickened 58 people in North America, including several Michigan, in an outbreak that started around this time last year. It also killed one person in the U.S. and one in Canada.
The source of E. Coli is typically animal poop from an infected animal. 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.

Severe cases can lead to kidney failure and symptoms include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.

Food Safety News reports there have been nearly 80 E. Coli outbreaks linked to leafy greens since 1995, though that figure is likely now a bit higher.

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