Government Advises Against Eating Romaine Lettuce After E.coli Outbreak

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are advising people not to eat any romaine lettuce, and businesses not to serve or sell the lettuce, until they learn more about a recent E.coli outbreak that has affected 32 people in 11 states, including Illinois.

The agencies are currently investigating the multi-state E.coli outbreak. In the meantime, they’re urging anyone with romaine lettuce in their house to throw it away, “even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” according to a statement released Nov. 20 by the Illinois Office of Communication and Information.

“This includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad,” the statement adds. “If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.”

Symptoms of E.coli, which produces Shiga toxin, varies depending on the individual, but often include bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramping and vomiting. Some people may also have a slight fever.

Although most infections are mild, with people typically getting better within a week, some infections are severe and can be life-threatening. Patients typically will start feeling sick three to four days after eating or drinking tainted food or drink, but symptoms may start anywhere from between one and 10 days after exposure.

The state is urging people to contact their health care provider if they have diarrhea that lasts for at least three days “or is accompanied by fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.”

For more info, visit the CDC website. VFP 

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