CDC Announces Romaine Lettuce Recall
On November 22, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states including The Maryland Department of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections across 16 states connected to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region. This outbreak is caused by the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that caused outbreaks linked to leafy greens in 2017 and to romaine lettuce in 2018.
The lettuce was sold under many different brand names and has “Use By” dates ranging from October 29, 2019, to November 1, 2019. They have establishment number “EST. 18502B” inside the USDA mark of inspection. All types of romaine lettuce are included in the recall including precut lettuce and salad mixes that have romaine such as spring mix and Caesar salad kits, baby romaine, hearts of romaine and whole heads of romaine.
How to identify the contaminated lettuce
Consumers should look for the green harvest region label or packaging that shows the growing region to determine whether they have purchased the recalled lettuce. If Salinas is listed as the growing region or as one of the growing regions, do not eat the lettuce and throw it away. To be safe, if you cannot find the growing region or do not know if your salad contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. After discarding lettuce, sanitize any areas of the fridge that came into contact with the lettuce with these five steps from the CDC.
While grocery stores have been advised to pull all possibly contaminated lettuce from their shelves, consumers should double check the growing region before purchasing romaine lettuce, pre-cut lettuce or salad kits that contain romaine.
At the time of the announcement, there had been 40 reported cases and 28 hospitalizations including five people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths had been reported.
Symptoms of E. coli infection
According to the CDC, on average, people show symptoms of E. coli infection 3-4 days after consuming the bacteria. Common symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people develop low-grade fevers. Some people develop a type of kidney failure called HUS after ingesting E. coli. Despite E. coli being a type of bacteria, antibiotics are not usually a recommended treatment.
If you believe that you may have consumed the contaminated romaine and are experiencing symptoms of E. coli infection take the following steps:
- Talk to your healthcare provider who may use a stool sample to make a diagnosis
- Make a journal of everything you can remember eating the week before you got sick
- Contact your local health department and report the illness
- Answer questions by public health investigators about your illness
Contaminated food personal injury case
The Federal government estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses in the United States every year. When a person is seriously injured by contaminated food because of the negligence of another, they may be able to recover damages with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
In order to recover damages, the plaintiff and his or her personal injury attorney must show that injuries were caused by the contaminated food by providing medical records and calling expert witnesses, that the injuries caused damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills and that the defendant is legally liable for the accident because of their negligence.
A personal injury attorney is best equipped to determine who the defendant is along the supply chain, gather evidence and build a case. They will also be able to assess the value of your claim and fight for the settlement you deserve.
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced personal injury attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!