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CDC Issues Warning: Romaine Lettuce is Unsafe to Consume

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a food safety alert regarding romaine lettuce – in any form. In response to a new outbreak of illnesses resulting from a type of E. coli bacteria which has proven particularly dangerous, the CDC wants consumers to throw out all romaine lettuce which they might have already purchased. No matter when or where it was grown, restaurants are being advised not to serve it, people are being told not to buy it, and stores are requested not to sell it. This might seem extreme, however, the CDC is unclear as to the extent as well as the origin of the E. coli contamination of the romaine lettuce.

Although no deaths have been reported, throughout 11 states the CDC has identified that 32 people have recently become sick from eating romaine lettuce that’s been contaminated with this type of E. coli bacteria. California is reported to have the highest number of illnesses at 10, Michigan presently has seven, New Jersey has three, two each have been reported for Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and New Hampshire, and the remaining reports come from Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, and Wisconsin. At present, there have been no reports of illness resulting from this outbreak in the state of Texas. By the same token, however, the advisory still applies to romaine lettuce in the Lone Star State. This outbreak has resulted in 13 hospitalizations, one of which has suffered a form of kidney failure. And, due to shipping and trade agreements, this isn’t relegated to only the U.S. Canada’s Public Health Agency has also identified 18 people in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec have also been infected. For those who travel for ski vacations to the great white north, this is a rather important advisory.

CDC Issues Warning: Romaine Lettuce is Unsafe to Consume
Photo: Flickr/liz west

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