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By Henrietta J. Burroughs                                      Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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November 21, 2018                    EPA Today Facebook page Follow epatoday on Twitter EPA Today Blog Icon


Photo of romaine lettuce    
Photo - vegetablegardenguide.com

Write one food off of your Thanksgiving menu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a food safety alert advising U.S. consumers to throw away, without eating, all of their romaine lettuce.

The CDC’s food alert covers all types 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.”

Consumers are also advised to wash and sanitize counters, drawers and shelves in their refrigerators that might have come in contact with the lettuce.

Restaurants and retailers are urged not to sell or serve the lettuce until further notice.

There are, thus far, 32 reported cases in eleven states, with 13 hospitalizations. As of November 19, California has 10 reported cases, the highest number of all, with Michigan following with seven reported cases.

The CDC urges consumers to take action if they have any of the following symptoms of the E.coli infection, also known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection. The symptoms, which vary from person to person, include:

Severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, a fever, which usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C

According to the CDC, “some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Most people with a STEC infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure.”

Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms are encouraged to  get medical attention.

Get more information on the CDC's website at https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html


Reach the author of this article, Henrietta j. Burroughs, via email at epatoday@epatoday.org