You may want to skip on the Caesar salad for a while. That’s because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is advising that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region for possible contamination with potentially fatal E. coli O157:H7.
This includes all types of romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
This is the same strain of E. coli that caused an outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2018.
If you have romaine lettuce at home, look for a label showing where the romaine lettuce was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker.
If the label says “Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location), don’t eat it, and throw it away.
If it isn’t labeled with a growing region, don’t eat it, and throw it away, the CDC says.
If you don’t know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, don’t eat it, and throw it away.
On November 21, 2019, Missa Bay, LLC, recalled salad products due to possible E. coli contamination.
Do not eat or sell any of the recalled salad products, which were sold under many different brand names.
Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine lettuce was stored.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure.
E. coli are microbes whose presence indicates that food may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term health effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended.
Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection.