Product Is Back On Grocery Store Shelves
Romaine lettuce started returning to grocery store shelves in May after an outbreak of E. coli, but consumers are still wondering “is it safe to eat again?”
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration says yes it is, tho warns that this was a serous outbreak and it continues to investigate the cause of it.
In a statement released at the end of May by the Food & Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Stephen Ostroff, M.D. stated:
“The FDA continues to investigate the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region. Any contaminated product from the Yuma growing region has already worked its way through the food supply and is no longer available for consumption. So any immediate risk is gone. However, the FDA is committed to investigating the source of the outbreak and working with industry to help prevent similar events in the future.
“This is a serious and tragic outbreak. And we’re devoting considerable effort to identifying the primary source. We’ve made progress in recent weeks toward this goal. This outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses is the largest in the United States in more than 10 years. As of today, it has affected 172 persons in 32 states, and it is anticipated the numbers will be updated on Friday. Tragically, 45 percent of these ill people have been hospitalized, and one has died. And 20 of these people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), one of the most serious complications that can occur with E. coli O157:H7 infection.”
However, the day after this statement was made, on June 1, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 25 cases. The outbreak began in mid-March and 197 people in 25 states became ill. Symptoms take three to five days to appear and can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC.
Most recover within five to seven days.
Overall, if grocery stores feel it’s safe to restock romaine lettuce, then you should feel safe eating it.