A new E. coli outbreak has the Center for Disease Control urging people to not eat romaine lettuce in both the United States and Canada. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that 32 people in 11 states in the U.S. have become ill, while 18 people in Ontario and Quebec have also reported sickness related to eating romaine lettuce. There have been no deaths reported so far, but 13 people have been hospitalized in the U.S., with the last reported illness on October 31st.
Since the specific types of products containing romaine lettuce have yet to be determined, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says grocery stores and restaurants should withdraw from selling and using all romaine lettuce until it is classified. A previous outbreak linked to the lettuce occurred earlier this year, but health officials determined that this strain is similar to one that occurred in 2017. The symptoms of contracting E. coli include cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting and should subside within a week, according to the CDC.
Last week, Jennie-O Turkey recalled 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey due to salmonella contamination, which left one person dead and 164 sick in 35 states. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and CDC are currently investigating the salmonella outbreak and warn customers that more products from different companies may still be affected. According to the CDC, a number of patients have admitted to eating a variety of types and brands of turkey products from different locations.
In order to avoid contracting a salmonella infection, the CDC has advised that people “cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs…Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles and sausage should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F.”