How salad became a major source of food poisoning in the US

by Vera Lovici • 28 Nov 2018

Just before Thanksgiving, a multistate E. Coli outbreak in the U.S. linked to romaine lettuce was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Because the government agencies had no idea where the dangerous food was being produced or sold, there was little they could report. The only recommendation was to cease all sales and consumption of romaine lettuce and to dispose of leaves and heads of romaine immediately.
• 32 people in 11 states have been struck down by lettuce-linked E. coli
• 13 of the victims are receiving hospital treatment

if you’re wondering when you can start eating all the romaine lettuce again without fear, the answer is: now, probably.

In their latest update on the countrywide romaine E. coli outbreak, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that it’s “unlikely” greens from the Yuma growing region — the source of the epidemic — are being sold or served any longer. The reason: Romaine has a shelf life of 21 days, and the last leafy greens from the area were harvested on April 16. In the previous two months, the salad industry has been sourcing from California.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was narrowing its blanket warning from last week when it said people shouldn’t eat any romaine because of an E coli outbreak.

The agency on Monday said romaine recently harvested in Arizona, Florida, Mexico and California’s Imperial Valley is OK to eat. It said romaine from those places wasn’t yet shipping when the illnesses began.





Vera Lovici

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