Romaine Lettuce Recall 2010 Affects 23 States
That salad may not be as healthy as you thought. According to The Associated Press, a food company is recalling lettuce sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia because of an E. coli outbreak that has made at least 19 people sick, three of them with potentially fatal symptoms from an outbreak of E. coli.
The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that 12 people had been hospitalized, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was looking at 10 other cases probably linked to the outbreak.
The FDA is focusing its investigation on lettuce grown in Arizona as a possible source for the outbreak. E. coli infection is quite serious; it can cause mild diarrhea or more severe complications, including kidney damage. The three patients with life-threatening symptoms were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys.
The recalled lettuce has a “best if used by” date of May 12 or earlier. The recall also affects “grab and go” salads sold at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores. The lettuce was sold in Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Donna Rosenbaum, director of the food safety advocacy group Safe Tables Our Priority, and other public health advocates have long been pushing for stronger food safety laws. The House passed a bill last year that would give the FDA much more authority to police food production, but the Senate has not done anything about it.