Amid an ongoing multi-state E. coli outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that romaine lettuce is, once again, the culprit for the outbreak. The CDC report states that romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, California area could be contaminated with E. coli. The agency is warning,
“Do not eat, purchase, serve or sell romaine lettuce that was grown in Salinas, California.”
CDC Warning about Romaine Lettuce
The CDC is warning consumers that the E. coli risk is present in all types of romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California. Consequently, they urge consumers to avoid all romaine products, including:
- Whole heads of romaine
- Hearts of romaine
- Organic romaine
- Romaine in salad wraps
The warning extends to products that contain pre-cut lettuce, including packaged salad mixes.
Illnesses Related to E. Coli Outbreak
According to the CDC, the investigation into the E. coli outbreak is ongoing. Numerous illnesses are already reported in several states.
Because romaine lettuce is popular in stores and restaurants, the CDC is concerned that more illness reports may arise as consumers learn about the outbreak and cause. Investigative journalists in some states have explored how easy it is to purchase romaine lettuce that is included in the recall. In Georgia, recalled lettuce was found on grocery store shelves as recently as the first week of December.
Recalls Related to the E. Coli Outbreak
In addition to the food safety alert from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced one recall of romaine lettuce products.
Missa Bay, LLC is recalling more than 75,000 pounds of salad products due to possible E. coli contamination. According to the USDA and FSIS, the lettuce in the salad products is potentially contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Consumers can identify the potentially contaminated products by the following brands:
- Ready Pac Bistro
- Signature Café
- Signature Farms
You can find the full list of products in the recall here. The salads subject to the recall all have an establishment number of EST. 18502B. They were produced between October 14, 2019 and October 16, 2019. The salads were shipped to distribution centers across the U.S. including Florida, Georgia, New York, Virginia, Ohio and Louisiana.
How Dangerous is E. Coli O157:H7?
The E. coli strain O157:H7 is dangerous and potentially deadly. Infection with the bacterium can cause the following symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal bloating
- Sudden diarrhea
- Reduced appetite
- Vomiting (rare)
More severe infections can lead to more serious symptoms, such as:
- Bloody urine
- Yellow skin (jaundice)
The symptoms of E. coli infection generally appear within two to eight days following exposure. The duration of the illness can last anywhere from five to seven days. Patients who experience severe symptoms or a fever of more than 102 degrees for three days or longer should get medical attention.
Some people who have E. coli infection develop a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS. HUS is a type of kidney failure that is most common in children and the elderly. Around 5-10 percent of E. coli sufferers develop HUS. The symptoms include:
- Decreased urine output
- Easy bruising
- Extreme fatigue
HUS is a medical emergency and anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Most people who develop HUS require hospitalization and treatment to prevent their kidneys from failing. What’s more, without proper treatment, HUS can cause permanent kidney damage. In severe cases, it can be fatal.
What to Do if You Have Consumed Recalled Romaine Lettuce
Because romaine lettuce is so popular nationwide, the concern among consumers is far-reaching. What is most important is that you get medical care if you suspect you have consumed recalled romaine lettuce. If you have been diagnosed with E. coli infection, your first priority is getting well.
Once you are well, if you have questions about the E. coli outbreak or your legal rights, you can always contact Bad Food Recall to learn more. Our team can certainly help you understand your rights as a consumer and answer difficult questions about your illness. Was your illness caused by recalled lettuce? Did the retailer follow instructions to remove the product and prevent illness? Are there options to have your medical costs covered?
These are just some of the questions that we can help you find answers to. Start today by calling Bad Food Recall at 1-877-534-5750. Or, you can email us to request more information.