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After the CDC and FDA told Americans to toss out their lettuce, many are now wondering if romaine is safe to eat once more. Unfortunately, the answer is still a maybe.

About E. coli

romaine safety

Romaine safety was called into question after the CDC identified it to be contaminated with E. coli. 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 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.

Continued Romaine Safety Warning

The CDC issued an update to its previous romaine safety warning. Instead of banning all romaine, the organization is advising American consumers not to eat lettuce harvested from certain counties in California. The questionable areas are Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. Specifically, no one should eat lettuce from these California counties: Monterrey, San Benito and Santa Barbara.

Areas not linked to the outbreak include Yuma, California desert areas near Imperial and Riverside County, Florida and Mexico. If you don’t know where your romaine was grown, the CDC advised to not eat it.

Tracing the Outbreak

The FDA and CDC have targeted four restaurants in three different states, 10 different distributors, 12 different growers, and 11 different farms as potential sources of the contaminated lettuce. Therefore, the agencies cannot tie the romaine E. coli outbreak to a single farm, grower, harvester, or distributor. However, federal and state investigators have been inspecting farms and lettuce cooling facilities in California and collecting samples of soil, water, romaine lettuce and fecal samples to pinpoint the potential sources. 

Get Legal Help

romaine safety

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 romaine 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.

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