Benton County Public Health Director, Melissa Smith, RN, BSN is making the public aware of an update to the food safety alert recently released on an outbreak of E. coli infections associated with romaine lettuce by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Based on new information, CDC is narrowing its warning to consumers. CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. If you do not know where the romaine is from, do not eat it.
- If the romaine lettuce is not labeled with a harvest growing region, do not buy, serve, sell, or eat it.
- Check bags or boxes of romaine lettuce for a label indicating where the lettuce was harvested. Romaine lettuce labeled with a harvest region outside of the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California (such as the desert growing region near Yuma, the California desert growing region near Imperial County and Riverside County, the state of Florida, and Mexico) is not linked to this outbreak.
- If you do not know where your romaine lettuce was harvested, do not eat it and 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.
- 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.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
- Restaurants and retailers should check the label on bags or boxes of romaine lettuce, or ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.
- Do not sell or serve any romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California.
- If you do not know where your romaine lettuce was harvested, do not sell or serve it.
- Hydroponically 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.
For more information about E. coli, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-symptoms.html
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