November 21, 2018 – Many of you will likely already have seen mention of this in the media, but as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Public Health Department wants to help ensure that our residents are aware of a food safety alert from the CDC. This alert comes in response to a new outbreak of illnesses caused by a particularly dangerous type of E. coli bacteria.
The CDC is advising the following:
- If you have any type of romaine lettuce at home (e.g., romaine hearts, whole heads of romaine, romaine in a bag or box, lettuce mixes that include romaine, etc.), do not eat it, and throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in the refrigerator where romaine was stored.
- Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell romaine lettuce, including salad mixes that include romaine.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection. Symptoms often include stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.
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It should be noted that the CDC is not claiming that all romaine contains the dangerous bacteria, but because investigators don’t know precisely where, when or how the contamination happened, all romaine is suspect for now.
As of yesterday, the CDC reported that 32 people in 11 states had become sick with the outbreak strain of E. coli 0157:H7, and of those, 13 have been hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. No infections related to this outbreak have been reported in Nevada County.
For more information on this alert and this outbreak, please visit the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html.