Don't eat romaine lettuce open line

Kenny Tucker
April 22, 2018

An unusually virulent strain of E. coli bacteria on romaine lettuce has sent 31 people to hospitals in 16 states, including Montana, and health officials are urging consumers to throw out any of the lettuce they may have bought recently.

The previous alerts just applied to sliced romaine on its own and as component of tossed salads & mixed greens.

"Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should note eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick", the CDC advises. However, they also stated that "Zero fatalities have been declared" at this time.

Federal and state health officials Friday expanded upon their earlier warnings this month that said an outbreak of E. coli had only been linked to chopped romaine lettuce from the Arizona region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. Zero deaths have been reported. Symptoms of infection include bad stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. "If you can not determine the source of your romaine lettuce, throw it away and don't eat it", the FDA warns.

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"Harvard University Dining Services romaine lettuce is NOT affected by the current recall".

No common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has yet been identified.

Although only five to 10 percent of those with E.coli infections will develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, for those that do, the condition can be serious.

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. The condition requires hospitalization and although most patients will recover, some may experience permanent kidney damage or die.

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