Make sure to be cautious of any salad at Thanksgiving this week. The CDC says to throw away all romaine lettuce after the vegetable made 32 people sick. Doctors also had to hospitalize 13 during this multistate E. coli outbreak.
E.Coli is bacteria that normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. While most strains are harmless, the one found in recent patients, 0157: H7, is a specific strain that can cause serious illness. Symptoms of E.Coli typically begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, although most patients become ill three or four days after consumption. These symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Most people recover in five to seven days. However, those most at risk include the very young, the very old and individuals with compromised immune systems.
New Romaine Outbreak
The CDC has identified romaine lettuce as the culprit to the E.coli outbreak, however, no other information is available. The agency does not have enough information to pinpoint a specific supplier. This is why the CDC urges Americans to throw away all romaine bagged or not. This is a completely new romaine outbreak, yet it includes the same E. coli strain as the 2017 outbreak that injured over 200 people in 30 states and killed five. In that outbreak, the CDC initially traced the offending greens back to Yuma, Ariz. The agency discovered a tainted canal caused the outbreak. Then, they officially declared it over in June.
California has the highest number of reported illnesses, with 10, followed by Michigan with seven, New Jersey with three, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York with two each, and the remainder in Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The first illness from this outbreak was on Oct. 6. There are typically delays in reporting illnesses linked to E. coli outbreaks, and the CDC said cases from early November onward likely have not been logged by health officials. But it’s striking that this year’s outbreak comes at roughly the same time as the one last year and with a similar fingerprint. The Canadian health agency noted that this “suggests there may be a reoccurring source of contamination.”
Therefore, if you have any type of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad, throw it away. This outbreak will probably get worse before it gets better since the CDC says:
“If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.”
Get Legal Help
E. Coli is bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans. The CDC estimates the bacteria causes 2,000 hospitalizations each year. Plus, 10% go on to develop more serious complications like hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can cause kidney failure, damage to the central nervous system, and ultimately death.
This is why it is important to seek representation if you are a victim of the multistate E.Coli outbreak or any foodborne contamination. An experienced attorney like those at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm can help you receive compensation for your losses. We have over 20 years representing injured consumers and will use every avenue to get you justice.