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Monday, December 17, 2018


Food Safety Update
Posted December 13, 2018
by the Center for Disease Control.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections linked to romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions in northern and central California.

Romaine is the lettuce of choice in preparing Caesar Salads, including those conveniently packaged one meal salads.

Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers
CDC has updated its warning to consumers. It advises that U.S. consumers not eat and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any romaine lettuce harvested from certain counties in the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. If you do not know where the romaine is from, do not eat it. 

Some romaine lettuce products are now labeled with a harvest location by region. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should check bags or boxes of romaine lettuce for a label indicating where the lettuce was harvested.

Do not buy, serve, sell, or eat romaine lettuce from the following California counties: Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara.
If the romaine lettuce is not labeled with a harvest growing region and county, do not buy, serve, sell, or eat it.

Romaine lettuce labeled with a harvest region outside of the three identified counties of the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California is not linked to the outbreak.

Areas not linked to this outbreak include the desert growing region near Yuma, Arizona; the California desert growing region near Imperial County and Riverside County; the state of Florida; and Mexico.
If you cannot identify where the romaine lettuce is from, do not buy, serve, eat, or sell it.

If you purchased romaine lettuce and do not know where it was harvested, do not eat, serve, or sell it. Throw it away.

This advice includes all types or uses 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.

Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.

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.

Hydroponic or greenhouse-grown romaine lettuce has not been linked to this outbreak.

Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
Talk to your healthcare provider.

Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.

Report your illness to the health department.

Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.

Romaine lettuce infected with the E. coli bacteria strain that sickened people across 15 US states has been traced to at least one farm in California.

Sediment in a water reservoir at Adam Bros. Farms in Santa Barbara County tested positive for the strain, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday.

Though the agency named only one farm, it said the E. coli bacteria strain was likely more widespread.

Investigators said they identified two other California counties, Monterey and San Benito, as possibly linked to the outbreak.

It is the second E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce this year, but officials have said they are not related. The first, earlier this year, sickened more than 200 people and killed five.

The romaine-lettuce E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 59 people across 15 states has been pinned on at least one farm in California where sediment in a water reservoir was found to have the strain of the bacteria.

The US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that it had traced the outbreak, announced on November 20, to at least one location: Adam Bros. Farms in Santa Barbara County.

It said infected lettuce may have also come from nearby Monterey and San Benito counties and that "additional romaine lettuce shipped from other farms could also likely be implicated in the outbreak."

Adam Bros. Farms, 180 miles up the coast from Los Angeles.

Some strains of the E. coli bacteria, which live in the intestines of people and animals, can cause symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal cramps, though in severe cases they can cause kidney failure or even death, the FDA said.

After the outbreak was confirmed in late November, the CDC said people should avoid romaine lettuce altogether.

"Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick," it said.

The FDA said Adam Bros. Farms hadn't shipped any romaine lettuce since November 20, but the agency advised people to avoid lettuce grown in Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Benito counties.

It's the second E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce so far in 2018 — the first, earlier this year, sickened more than 200 people and killed five. The CDC has said the two are not related.

The FDA said Adam Bros. Farms was cooperating with its investigation.

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