Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

CDC: It's Safe To Eat Romaine Lettuce

CDC: It's Safe To Eat Romaine Lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that the total number of people sickened by a strain of E. coli is now 172 across 32 states. The most recent illnesses reported to CDC started when romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, and in peoples' homes. It is therefore unlikely that any of the unsafe romaine lettuce may still be bought in stores or served in restaurants, as the vegetable only has a 21-day shelf life.

Though the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak sickened more people in more states over the last week, the true news in Wednesday's CDC update concerns the lettuce. All of the lettuce was harvested from March 5-16 and is now past its 21-day shelf life.

One case of death was reported in California due to E. coli infected romaine lettuce consumption.

Talk to your health care provider if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department.

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the contamination to the Yuma region of Arizona, where about 90 percent of winter leafy greens are grown.

The CDC said 20 people had developed a severe effect of E. coli infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome. And three more states have reported patients: Iowa, Nebraska, and Oregon.

Stan Park, the operations director of Brandeis Sodexo, verified in an email to the Justice that the food service provider received written confirmation from Russo's, their produce supplier, that Brandeis' romaine comes from Salinas Valley, California instead of Yuma, Arizona. Most strains of E. coli are harmless and serve an important role in the digestive system. This E. coli outbreak has been considered as the largest in the US which has shattered the families and people have been admitted to hospital due to bacteria spread causing infection and chronic health problems.

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