Mercedes via Flickr
In several states across the country, there has been a link between romaine lettuce and an outbreak of E. coli. The source of the outbreak is from romaine lettuce that is specifically harvested in the central coast growing regions of northern and central California. The counties in California that FDA includes in this region are Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura. Canada experienced a similar outbreak around the same time. In November 2018, the FDA announced its investigation in E. coli found in romaine lettuce. USA Today states that eighteen people in Ontario and Quebec have been sickened by the same E. coli strain.
The CDC states that as of November 26, 2018, the E. coli outbreak has sickened thirty-two people in eleven states. In addition, the CDC recommends that people “wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored,” and if one does not know if a salad or salad mix contains romaine lettuce, it is strongly recommended to “throw it away.” The CDC explains that symptoms of E. coli typically begin to appear three to four days after consuming the bacteria. The head of FDA states that their goal is to ensure that romaine lettuce is taken out of all stores in the United States.
In the Pine Crest community, an email was recently sent out to confirm that all romaine lettuce has been removed from the dining halls of both campuses. Beyond Pine Crest, however, it is up to you to monitor this food safety alert. Even though the current E. coli outbreak is unrelated to the previous outbreak this year, it is still incredibly important to watch out for foods with increased health risks to ensure that you are staying safe.
Sources: USA Today, CDC, FDA
Photo Source: Mercedes via Flickr