The CDC has issued a warning right at the time millions of Americans are preparing for their Thanksgiving feast. The bottom line is that romaine lettuce is not safe to eat in any form. Any type of romaine lettuce should be thrown away immediately. It is also necessary to sanitize anything in your house where it has been stored.
According to the CDC, thirty-two people in 11 states have been infected by a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria. Although no deaths have been reported, there have been 13 people hospitalized, including one patient who developed a form of kidney failure.
And if you are thinking that simply rinsing the lettuce really well will remove the bacteria, then think again. James Rogers, the director of Food Safety and Research at Consumer Reports, says that “bacteria have the ability to adhere to the surface of the leaves, and to get stuck in microscopic crevices.”
It is important to take this warning seriously. The particular strain of E. coli associated with the current outbreak is identified as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7. It has caused other deadly outbreaks, including the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak that killed four children.
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