If you have eaten a salad in the last month, you may have a reason to be concerned about your health…
According to consumer reports, people need to be extremely cautious when eating romaine lettuce after a mass outbreak of a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria has caused more than 50 cases in the US and Canada. A consumer advocacy team has called on the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help warn people about the hazardous outbreak.
At the moment at least 5 individuals have been hospitalized in the United States and one has even died from the bacteria. In Canada, at least one person had died as well. The states affected so far in the US are New York, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont and Washington state.
Many Canadian health officials are warning people to considering eating other types of salad greens until more details come forward. In the United States, we have been short of recommending people to stop eating romain, but it is a good idea to stay clear until further notice.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there has been an outbreak in E. coli in the U.S. and Canada that they have determined to be likely because of romaine lettuce.
In total, at least 58 people have been identified to have E. coli, including two who have died: one in Canada and one in the U.S.. In Canada, 41 cases have been reported, while the rest have been reported in the U.S. across 13 states. The CDC announced that the illnesses were reported between Nov. 15 and Dec. 8 of 2017.
CDC’s media statement read:
The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada. In the United States, state and local public health officials are interviewing sick people to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started. CDC is still collecting information to determine whether there is a food item in common among sick people, including leafy greens and romaine.
Consumer Reports advises that people avoid eating romaine lettuce until the cause of the illness is narrowed down.
James Rogers, the director of food safety and research at Consumer Reports, said:
“Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw.”
Anyone can get sick from E. coli, but those with a weaker immune system, such as the elderly or young children, are at greater risk.