Syndicated by: Montana News
The CDC is warning Americans and Canadians against consuming romaine lettuce as they investigate an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in multiple states. The advisory covers 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. They are also advising that restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
Consumers need to be aware of the potential dangers during the holiday season when preparing salads at home as well as eating out in restaurants.
So far thirty-two people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 in 11 states.
Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections linked to romaine lettuce.
Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers
CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak. This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.
Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
This advice 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.
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.
Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps(https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/clean-refrigerator-steps.html) to clean your refrigerator.
Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
Take action(https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/foodsafety-2015/index.html) if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection(https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-symptoms.html):
Talk to your healthcare provider.
Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
Report your illness to the health department.
Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
Advice to Clinicians
Antibiotics are not recommended(https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/clinicians.html) for patients with E. coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients in whom E.coli O157 infection is suspected, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.
Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli O157 infections might increase their risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure), and the benefit of antibiotic treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.