None of commissaries’ romaine lettuce suppliers have products from Yuma region
The Defense Commissary Agency has confirmed that its supplies of romaine lettuce do not come from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region, identified as the source of the current E. Coli outbreak, agency officials announced.
“Our fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers have confirmed that the romaine lettuce supply does NOT originate from Yuma, Arizona,” said Bridget Bennett, DeCA’s category manager for produce. “The one supplier that previously had produce from that area has discontinued sourcing from that area.”
This announcement comes after the commissaries’ only supplier with romaine lettuce from the Yuma area voluntarily pulled its product April 20 and has since shifted sources to a grower in another region. This supplier delivers romaine produce to DeCA’s commissaries in Alaska.
The Centers for Disease Control has continuously advised consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce that came from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region, according to alerts on its website.
This alert follows a Department of Defense All Food and Drug Activity message dated April 16 that announced Church Brothers’ Class 1 recall of its Cross Valley Farms chopped romaine lettuce because of potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
As of May 2 the CDC and FDA have reported one death in California among the 121 confirmed cases of E. coli infections in 25 states with 52 people being hospitalized; 10 have developed kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and older adults. Symptoms of HUS may include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, decreased urination, and swelling. The condition can lead to serious kidney failure and even death.
Food contaminated with E coli may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick
Infection with E. coli can result in dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps two to eight days (three to four days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some can develop HUS.
The CDC recommends the following to consumers when it comes to romaine lettuce:
- Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.
- Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
- Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine lettuce was stored. Ensure you thoroughly clean your refrigerator.
If anyone suspects they have been affected by E. coli, the CDC recommends the following steps:
- Take action(https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/foodsafety-2015/index.html) if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection: Talk to your healthcare provider.
- Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
- Report your illness to the health department.
- Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
Follow these general ways to prevent(https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-prevention.html) E. coli infection:
- Wash your hands. Wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers, before and after preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals.
- Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are sick.
- Cook meats thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Cook steaks and roasts to at least 145˚F and let rest for 3 minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove. Cook ground beef and pork to at least 160˚F. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat.
- Don’t cross-contaminate food preparation areas. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, unless the package says the contents have been washed.
- Avoid raw milk, other unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices.