At least 172 people have gotten sick in 32 US states after eating romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli bacteria.
Romaine lettuce from the growing region of Yuma, Arizona appears to be the source of the outbreak.
But officials say the harvest season there ended in mid-April.
Because the shelf life of romaine lettuce is about 21 days, it’s unlikely that any of the contaminated romaine is still for sale in stores or restaurants, the CDC said.
It’s looking safe to start eating romaine lettuce again, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Romaine lettuce — including the pre-chopped variety, whole heads, and hearts — from Yuma, Arizona was linked to a multistate outbreak of a nasty strain of E. coli in early April. Infected people have reported symptoms like stomach cramps, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and kidney failure.
But the CDC said on Wednesday that “the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018 and the harvest season is over.”
Because romaine only has a shelf life of about three weeks, there’s virtually no chance the contaminated Arizona lettuce is still floating around any stores or restaurants, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. Most romaine lettuce production has now shifted to central California.
So far, the CDC has documented at least 172 cases of E. coli in 32 states, with 75 people hospitalized. At least 20 individuals developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. One Californian who contracted the dangerous food poisoning died.
How to determine whether it’s safe to eat romaine lettuce again
It can take 10 days for symptoms of E. coli show up, and an additional two to three weeks for the illness to be reported to the CDC.
But at this point, any risky romaine lettuce grown in Arizona is probably old, browning, and wilted. The last of that harvested lettuce was likely cleared from shelves and restaurants in the first few days of May,
The FDA suggests that people and food workers who think contaminated lettuce might have made its way into their kitchens do a deep cleanse. That means washing and sanitizing all refrigerators, cutting boards, countertops, and utensils.
The CDC is also suggesting that people remain cautious about the kinds of fruits and vegetables they buy in stores. The agency suggests consumers pick fruits and …read more
Source:: Business Insider