Romaine lettuce recalled over E. coli concerns
Romaine lettuce and any products containing romaine lettuce produced from the Salinas, California, region are being recalled due to potential E. coli contamination, according to a recall notice from the Defense Commissary Agency’s food safety office sent Nov. 23.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing a public health alert warning against consuming any lettuce, wraps, sandwiches, prepackaged salad, salad kits, or other product containing romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California, growing region.
The Defense Commissary Agency has publicized this recall to all its stores, said Richard Stith, Chief, Public Health Division, DeCA headquarters at Fort Lee, Virginia. Whenever a commissary has recalled or withdrawn products in its inventory, they are immediately removed from store shelves.
“Customers may notice Romaine lettuce still on the shelves at their commissaries. These remaining batches of lettuce are not affected by this recall,” Stith added.
Most romaine lettuce products in stores are labeled with a harvest location showing where they were grown. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are advising that if this voluntary label indicates that the romaine lettuce was grown in “Salinas”, whether alone or with the name of another location, do not eat it. If the romaine does not have information about harvest region or does not indicate that it has been grown indoors (i.e. hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown), throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.
Infection with E. coli O157:H7 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 develop a type of 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 kidney failure and even death.
Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
Customers should return these products to the commissary of purchase for a full refund.