E. coli cases mount as NJ stores pull romaine lettuce from shelves
The CDC said there are now 67 cases in 19 states connected to the latest E. coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California, region.
In an update issued ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service continued to warn against consuming any wraps, sandwiches, prepackaged salad or other product containing romaine lettuce harvested from the region. The warning includes any whole heads of romaine, organic romaine and hearts of romaine.
The CDC suggests checking for a label indicating where the lettuce was grown.
"If you do not know the source of your romaine lettuce, and if you cannot obtain that information from your supplier, you should not serve, ship, or sell the product," the CDC warned.
There is still just one reported case in New Jersey from Camden County.
Hydroponically and greenhouse-grown romaine, which is labeled as “indoor grown,” does not appear to be related to the current outbreak.
Several New Jersey retailers said they had removed products with romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas region.
ShopRite and Wegmans said that the romaine in their respective stores does not come from the affected area.
Wawa posted signs in its stores stating that none of its romaine came from Salinas but removed all products containing romaine as a precaution.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps two to eights days after exposure.
While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency care immediately.