Romaine lettuce is the source of an E. coli outbreak in Georgia and nine other states according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Illnesses had been reported betwen October and November, however, there were no fatalities resulting from the outbreak. A total of sixty people were sickened, 30 of which were hospitalized. Severe kidney disease resulted in two people who were sickened. The ages of those sickened were 1 to 94, 63% were female.
Missouri had the most illnesses reported with 37 people, and Illinois had 9 cases. The other illnesses occurred in Georgia, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
Some of the illnesses were tracked back to lettuce sold in Schuck’s salad bars. The CDC is stating that the lettuce was contaminated before being distributed to Schuck Markets Inc. A spokeswoman from Schnuck states that they are being told that the contaminated lettuce has been tracked back to one farm, the name and location of which was not provided.
Per the CDC, consumers should not avoid eating lettuce from Schnucks or anywhere else because the outbreak is over.
Infection with E. coli can cause diarrhea, infections of the urinary tract, respiratory illnesses and pneumonia. People who are most susceptible to illness include young children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems.
It is recommended to help avoid E. coli contamination, people should was their hands thoroughly before and after preparing food and after using the restroom and diapering, wash produce, cookware and equipment, and cook ground beef to at least 160 degrees.
Avoid foods that are considered high-risk such as undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk or juice, soft cheeses that are made from unpasteurized milk, and alfalfa sprouts, as these have been known sources of E. coli.
If you believe you are the victim of a foodborne illness, call Georgia food poisoning attorney Ty Wilson for a free evaluation of your claim at 1-888-689-5224.