The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that it is safe to consume the product, as long as it has been harvested after November 23 of this year.
The outbreak of the E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce that has sickened at least 59 people in 15 states had its origin in a California farm, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
On November 20, Health authorities issued a warning nationwide in response to a new outbreak of diseases caused by that infection. Then, the CDC told consumers to throw away the romaine lettuce they had already bought regardless of the origin or the presentation: chopped, complete or prepared in salad.
In a statement, the agency reported: “Today we are announcing that we have identified a positive result of the strain that caused the E. coli outbreak in the sediments of a local water reservoir used for irrigation at a farm operated by the Adams Bros. Farms Company in Santa Barbara County.”.
As part of the protocol, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will send investigators to that farm in Santa Barbara County to collect additional samples. However, the results that the CDC has collected so far indicate that romaine lettuce from other farms could have also been involved in the outbreak of the bacteria.
“The Adams Bros. Farms farm is cooperating with the FDA in the investigation and we can confirm that the company has not packaged romaine lettuce since November 20,” the Health authorities said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there is currently no reason for people to stop eating romaine lettuce in San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Ventura counties in California, as long as it has been harvested after November 23.
“The romaine lettuce harvested outside of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Bárbara counties after November 23 seems not to be related to the current outbreak of E. coli.”
If consumers, buyers and food chains can not confirm that the romaine lettuce they use in their products comes from an uncontaminated source, the CDC urges them not to buy these foods, and if they have already done so, the recommendation is to throw it away immediately. or to return it to the establishment where it was acquired.
The bacterium E. coli causes diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. If not treated, the condition can cause severe complications that end up being fatal.
The states where sick people have already been reported are: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The CDC indicated that it is necessary to clean and disinfect one’s refrigerator where the lettuce was stored.
People who were affected by this new outbreak of E.coli began to feel ill on October 8. Among the hospitalized, one of them developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which affects the kidney. For now, there have been no deaths.