Monday, January 14, 2019

CDC: It's safe to eat romaine lettuce in Michigan

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:09 AM

click to enlarge MANJURAL HAQUE/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Manjural Haque/Shutterstock

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention says it's safe to eat romaine lettuce again after an E. coli outbreak sickened dozens across the country.

The CDC warned consumers in mid-November to stop eating romaine and warned stores and restaurants to stop selling or serving it.

The warning stayed in place through January because the government had a difficult time tracing the outbreak's source, though it was ultimately determined to be a lettuce farm in Santa Barbara, California.



When the CDC issued its warning in November, 32 people in 11 states had been sickened. As of January 9, that number was up to 62 cases in 16 states — including Michigan — and the District of Columbia. Another 29 people in Canada were sickened, as well.
The 2018 outbreak wasn't the first time that E. Coli tainted romaine has made headlines. An outbreak that started in November 2017 is believed to have sickened 58 people in North America, including several Michigan. That outbreak 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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