There may be no near end to the E. coli outbreak associated with Romaine Lettuce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just updated the statistics of the outbreak. In fact, this is the largest outbreak since 2006.
With all the hype around eating more greens to live a healthier, happier life, what’s going to happen? Can you still eat your greens?
Officials at the CDC warned, “Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region. Romaine lettuce has a shelf life of several weeks, and contaminated lettuce could still be in homes, stores, and restaurants.”
Here’s what’s new on the E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak of 2018, and what you should be doing about it.
CDC Statistics Update
Currently the CDC has recorded 149 cases in the E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak. There are 29 states involved with 64 people hospitalized and one death associated to the E. coli outbreak in California.
The states with the highest number of cases are California, Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Minnesota. Interestingly, there has been no recall issued. Researchers at the CDC believe that the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 originated from the Yuma growing region.
Leafy Greens E. Coli Outbreak Not Uncommon
The latest E. coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce is causing quite a stir. Many people may be straying away from eating leafy greens altogether until health officials give the all clear.
Late last year, a similar E. coli outbreak warning was issued by the CDC, which involved leafy greens. This outbreak ended in January of 2018 with nearly 30 cases reported and one death.
This is a serious issue. Many doctors, dietitians, and health influencers are urging people to make more healthy food choices. This includes a diet filled with greens, like romaine lettuce.
Health Benefits of Leafy Greens
Some of the benefits of eating leafy greens are improved digestion, more free radical fighting antioxidants, and better cardiovascular health. Leafy greens may also help you manage your weight.
This is essential, since heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are killing more and more Americans annually. There have been two E. coli outbreaks in less than six months, leaving many people who want to eat healthy concerned.
Is It Safe to Eat Any Green Leafy Vegetables?
It is hard to say what is safe. One of the biggest issues is in the failure of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This act was supposed to help decrease the number of food related outbreaks.
Unfortunately, the FSMA is too slow to keep up with current outbreaks. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is actively working to make it better.
Until then, it is a toss up of whether eating leafy greens is safe. You should most certainly avoid romaine lettuce until the CDC announces that it is safe to do so.
Even though the outbreak seems to be originated from the Yuma growing region, don’t assume your greens are safe. “Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy romaine lettuce if you do not know where it was grown,” the CDC warned.
Are You a Victim of the Latest E. Coli Outbreak?
If you believe you may have been poisoned by E. coli romaine lettuce, you should report what happened to the CDC. This helps the agency understand the trail and source better. Coping with exposure to E. coli can be difficult.
Once you have done that, you may want to contact an attorney. Due to the relatively large reach and number of reported cases, this is no ordinary outbreak. There are nearly 60 victims working with attorneys for compensation.
Lawsuits have been filed since E. coli poisoning can cause permanent health issues, like lifelong kidney issues. The CDC has recorded 17 people with kidney failure associated with the romaine lettuce outbreak.
In the case of the first death at the hands of the current outbreak, a wrongful death lawsuit is warranted. People affected need to know their rights and the compensation they are entitled to.
“Spouses, children and parents of the deceased are permitted by law to file wrongful death lawsuits to seek damages for the loss of the deceased’s income, support and companionship as well as for their mental anguish and suffering,” according to Reyna Injury Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, a state with reported romaine lettuce E. coli cases.
The outbreak may have no immediate end in site. It is vital to stay clear of romaine lettuce for sure. You may even want to skip leafy greens in general, since packaged mixed lettuce may contain romaine lettuce.
If you’re a victim, report it to health agencies, and depending on how it affects your health, seek legal advice to hold companies accountable for these types of incidents.