The scourge of E. coli on the US is over, for now. Word from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention is that the lettuce exposed to the bacterium has likely expired meaning Americans can safely enjoy their sandwiches and lettuce wraps once again.
The CDC made the announcement Wednesday that tainted lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region reached its 21-day shelf life, which means it should be removed from stores and restaurants. The agency found the romaine lettuce exposed to *E. coli was harvested on April 16, and with the harvest season over, it’s unlikely the lettuce is available.
On April 21, the CDC posted an outbreak alert advising the disposal of any store-bought romaine lettuce from Yuma that was infected with what it later discovered to be Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 strain. Since then, the agency reported 172 cases of individuals in 32 states exposed to the bacterium. Of those cases, 75 people were hospitalized and there was one death.
Even though lettuce is safe to eat now, the CDC advised to keep an eye out for symptoms of an E. coli infection. A person exposed to it can go days before they start displaying such common symptoms as fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Individuals should visit a doctor right away if As always, washing hands after using the restroom, contacting animals, or before and after preparing or eating food is advised to prevent infection.
The investigation of the tainted romaine lettuce is still ongoing. The CDC will continue to track cases of E. coli infection and provide an updated report in the future.
The CDC may no longer have to worry about E. coli, but it’s still tracking cases of a Salmonella outbreak. More than 200 million eggs were exposed to the bacteria and mainly found in the east coast states.