Health Care

Stay Away From All Forms of Romaine Lettuce, CDC Warns

Staten Island Advance File

Illnesses that occurred after March 27, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. If unsure whether the store-bought lettuce is romaine, the CDC recommends throwing it away. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. However, compared to others, these patients consumed whole heads of romaine lettuce whereas most of the others who fell ill consumed romaine lettuce from restaurant salads that were made from bagged, chopped romaine lettuce.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its romaine lettuce recall.

The latest warning came after eight prisoners at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, came down with acute gastroenteritis caused by Escherichia coli (E.coli) O157:H7 bacteria. An update issued on Friday, however, says customers should also avoid whole heads and hearts of romaine, in addition to chopped lettuce, unless they can determine that it was not grown in Yuma.

"Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten", the CDC said.

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The same advice goes for consumers, as the CDC advises consumers from anywhere in the United States to not buy or consume any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region.

It is because of this new information that the CDC has expanded its warning to include all types of romaine lettuce. This percentage is significantly higher than of healthy people of which 46% reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were interviewed in the Atlas of Exposure (2006-2007) which is used by the CDC for comparative data. "Ask your suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce", the CDC said.

Most people recover within one week although some illnesses can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). It could be weeks before the full scope of the disease outbreak has been explored. The bacteria can be spread by contaminated water, animal manure or in undercooked beef.