E. Coli Culprit ID’ed: The Veggie Headline Health Warned Of

Officials identify culprit in E.coli outbreak that hit N.J., 10 other states

(Headline Health) We reported last December that there’s one item commonly served in restaurants that some restaurant managers won’t eat. (They’ll serve it to you, though).

It’s a food that’s typically not washed adequately and is prepared in large processing facilities by unskilled workers before spending days in transit to locations hundreds if not thousands of miles away. And it’s almost always served raw.

These factors make this one food a prime candidate for spreading food-borne -illnesses.

An outbreak first reported a week ago at several Panera Bread locations in New Jersey (ironically, the “Garden State”) has now spread to nearly a dozen states. Details below …

Toss out this one item from your fridge

(Spencer Kent, NJ.com) Health officials have identified romaine lettuce out of Arizona as the culprit in an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 35 people in eleven states, including seven in New Jersey in the last few weeks.

And they are warning everyone to toss out any romaine lettuce they have in the fridge.

PREVIOUSLY ON HEADLINE HEALTH: More Bad News About Lettuce

People “who have bought romaine lettuce — including salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce — should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the New Jersey Department of Health said.

And, before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or at a restaurant, they warn people to make sure it did not come from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

However, at this time, “no grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified” as the source, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state has not named any eatery involved in the outbreak. But officials from Warren County said last week that they were investigating several Panera Bread restaurants.

Earlier this week, the CDC said 17 people nationwide had been infected with a potentially severe strain of E. coli — the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. The strain can potentially cause people to become dangerously ill.

“Individuals with this infection usually get better within about 5 to 7 days, however some illnesses can be serious or even life-threatening,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “Anyone experiencing symptoms of this illness should see a healthcare provider.”

So far, health officials have confirmed seven cases in four counties in New Jersey — four in Hunterdon County, and one each in Monmouth, Sussex and Somerset counties. Displayed with permission from NJ.com via Repubhub. IMAGE: Mike Baird, CC BY 2.0

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