Here's What You Need to Know About the Latest Romaine Recall

You'll want to check your salad drawer.

November 21, 2018

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On November 20, the FDA released a food safety alert regarding a multi-state outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce. Here’s the latest information about the outbreak and what you should know about this strain of E. Coli.

The Outbreak

Two-thirds of folks infected with the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157:H7 have been reported in 11 states. Shiga toxin-producing E. Coli takes an average of 2 to 8 days to make someone sick after they swallow the germ. The illness started between October 8 and October 31, 2018. Thirteen people were hospitalized. No deaths have been recorded to date.

There have also been 18 people infected with the same strain of E. coli 0157:H7 in two Canadian provinces Ontario and Quebec. Both U.S. and Canada believe these illnesses are linked to romaine lettuce, but are unsure of the source at this time.

What Should You Do With Your Lettuce?

The CDC recommends tossing any romaine lettuce in your home as a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has yet to be identified. Even if you haven’t gotten sick from the romaine lettuce in your home, the CDC still recommends throwing it away. In addition, restaurants should not serve or sell romaine lettuce until more information is available.

The recommendations include all types of romaine lettuce including whole heads, hearts and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that include romaine like spring mixes and Caesar salad. If you’re unsure if your salad mix contains romaine, as the saying goes, when in doubt throw it out.

Folks are also advised to wash and sanitize those vegetable drawers and shelves where romaine lettuce was stored.

If you do think you have an E. coli infection, see your doctor and write down everything you ate and drank for up to one week before you became ill. This information may be crucial to investigators in order to pinpoint where it is coming from.

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