It can take weeks to track down the source of a food poisoning outbreak.
01/08/2018Food safety experts at Consumer Reports are advising people in the US and Canada to stop eating romaine lettuce.
If you're one of the many people hitting the refresh button on life with the coming of the New Year, resolving to exercise more, drink less, and eat better, you may have stocked your fridge with lots of fresh and healthy veggies for your own clean-eating plans - including romaine lettuce.
"When you hear these outbreaks in E. Coli, sometimes you get contamination's from people that are handling it, people that are transporting it, people that are actually gathering the crops", said Dr. Song Yu; Physician at Sparrow's Urgent Care. Leafy greens, including romaine lettuce, were the cause of E coli outbreaks in 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013. On December 28, the CDC gave its latest report about the outbreak stating that 17 people were sick. The news agency reported that Compass notified its distributors about their decision and recommended "alternative leafy greens for use in the business".
"Unfortunately, we have not been able to find common lettuce brands or common stores", Ian Williams, chief of the CDC's Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch, told CNN.
The CDC said the USA cases occurred on November 15 through December 8, 2017, a similar time period to the cases in Canada.
United Fresh went on to state that "t$3 his fact makes it very unlikely - even if the outbreak is tied to romaine -that any affected product remains in marketing channels", according to its January 4, 2018 member alert. I would rather operate on the old adage "when in doubt, throw it out", until more information is released.
The CDC statement said it was investigating the outbreak and had not definitively linked it to romaine.
The CDC had not issued an updated statement as of Friday night.
Dr. Yu says an E. Coli infection could cause multiple symptoms. Keep on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of the infection: vomiting, nausea, watery (sometimes bloody) diarrhea, abdominal pain, and (potentially) fever. The type of STEC E. coli in these outbreaks, E. coli O157, is particularly risky.
Consumer Reports is now calling on the Food and Drug Administration and CDC to do more to warn the public about the dangers of the outbreak.
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