Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Impacts 19 States, Including Ohio

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 2:15 PM

click to enlarge WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia

Checking out one of the local barbecue joints never sounded so good, as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported a multi-state outbreak of E. coli stemming from romaine lettuce. The contaminated lettuce likely originated from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

Somehow, this outbreak has made its way across the country to Ohio, infecting 84 people in 19 states and hospitalizing 42.



Given that product labels often do not identify growing regions, the CDC recommends people not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless it can be confirmed it was not grown in Yuma, Arizona. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

The CDC report has also shown that this outbreak is greatly effecting more women than men. In fact, somewhere between 50 to 60 percent of past E. coli outbreaks impacted women. A belief is that women tend to eat more romaine lettuce than men, but medical professionals are still unsure on whether or not this is the driving factor.

However, the CDC has also shown that leafy vegetables were responsible for 22 percent of foodborne illnesses between 1998 and 2008. We all know the dangers of eating raw meats, as pathogens like salmonella and E. coli need to be killed off during the food preparation process. However, as leafy greens are normally consumed raw, any sort of infestation remains a part of the greens making people sick.

After an outbreak in 2013, Modern Farmer explained that “during harvest, workers core lettuce in the field, often with a knife soiled by pathogen-laden dirt. The plant then produces a milky latex that essentially traps any present pathogens in the plant.”

As bagged lettuce and salad mixes become increasingly popular along with a spike in plant-based diets, the process in which farmers clean salads can actually trap bacteria inside the plants, where washing is of no help.

For the time being, we should probably all support local farmers and make sure produce comes from a trusted source. 

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation