This Just In-Tuesday p.m.
The lettuce recall is being expanded. Vaughan foods of Moore, Oklahoma is recalling lettuce with the use by dates of May 9 and 10. The lettuce was sold to food service facilities and restaurants. This after the Freshway Foods recall last week of romaine lettuce, the E. coli 0145 traced to a farm in Yuma, Arizona. Vaughan got lettuce from the same farm. A sickened Ohio State University student Sued Freshway on Tuesday. He was hospitalized for bloody diarrhea and dehydration and his stool tested positive for E. coli 0145. Consumers are urged not to eat “grab and go” salad preparations from in-store salad bars, delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh Stores.
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A nationwide recall of lettuce is underway after 19 people have been sickened with bacterial contamination.
The Food and Drug Administration reports that 10 other possible cases of illnesses are being considered.
Freshway and Imperial Sysco brand romaine lettuce products were distributed to delis, in-store salad bars, wholesalers and food service outlets. Also affected are the “grab and go” salads sold at Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, Marsh grocery stores and Kroger.
A search of the plant in Sidney, Ohio, has not uncovered any contamination.
AP reports that 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), illnesses have been reported in Michigan (10 confirmed and 3 probable); New York (2 confirmed and 5 probable); and Ohio (7 confirmed and 2 probable). The illnesses began April 10 and infected individuals ranging in age from 13 to 29.
12 individuals have been hospitalized, 3 with HUS or hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious potentially life-threatening condition where the body’s ability to clot blood are altered. That can cause blocked circulation or bleeding in the brain and kidneys.
E. coli contamination which can cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting and cramps. More serious health problems can include hemolytic uremic syndrome that can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys and three patients have been diagnosed as a result of this contamination.
The affected lettuce has been traced to a farm in Arizona. It bears a “best if used by” date of May 12 or earlier.
College students at the University of Michigan, as well as students at Daemen College in Amherst, New York were the first to report the health problems.
After an investigation of several weeks, a New York state public health lab discovered the E. coli contamination in a bag of Freshway Foods shredded lettuce on Wednesday. The bag came from a plant that also has a link to the illness, though the FDA is not revealing the name of that facility while the investigation is underway.
Difficult to Identify
E. coli 0157:H7 is the more common type of bacterial contamination often found in ground beef, though it has also been found in raw cookie dough and peppers. E. coli is a bacteria that lives in your intestines and is harmless. There is no treatment other than drinking plenty of fluids and resting.
This particular strain of E. coli contamination is E. coli 0145 is more difficult to identify but has caused illnesses in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Because it is in the Shinga toxin producing E. coli or STEC, the CDC reports there are limited public health surveillance data on the occurrence of non 0157 STECs therefore the outbreaks may go unreported.
The House gave the FDA more authority to police food production, but so far the Senate has not acted on it. The public advocacy group Safe Tables Our Priority promotes stronger inspections and consumer protection to eliminate the 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths that come from food-borne contamination. #