Late last month, Missa Bay announced that it was recalling over 75,000 pounds of salad products that contain meat or poultry because the romaine lettuce may be contaminated with E. coli. This salad recall has impacted dozens of people across the United States.
The latest outbreak information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 67 people have been infected with the E. coli outbreak, and the health risk is currently considered to be high.
The investigation regarding this outbreak is ongoing, but for now, the CDC advises that you stay away from romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, Calif. region.
Salad Recall Findings
On Nov. 21, 2019, salad product items produced by Missa Bay, a Swedesboro, N.J. establishment, produced from Oct. 14, 2019 through Oct. 16, 2019 were recalled because of possible E. coli contamination.
The FDA reported that in total, 75,233 pounds of salad products containing meat or poultry were recalled. These items were shipped to distribution locations in the following states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
These most recent recalled salad and lettuce products have the establishment number “EST. 18502B” inside the USDA mark of inspection. When the Maryland Department of Health tested a package of Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Caesar Salad, the lettuce tested positive for E. coli.
After that, all products from the same lot of lettuce were included in a salad recall.
Based on this salad recall and prior recalls on lettuce products, the CDC currently advises that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, Calif. growing region. This includes all use-by dates and brands of romaine lettuce from this region.
Lettuce products that fall within the group of recalled items include:
- whole heads of romaine
- organic romaine
- hearts of romaine
- romaine in salad wraps
- packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine
Related: Iceberg Lettuce: Healthy Leafy Green or Nutrient-Poor Filler?
What to Watch Out For
The USDA classified the health risk regarding this most recent recall as “high,” as it comes amid a multi-state outbreak of E. coli infections — affecting a total of 67 people from 19 states, according to the CDC’s latest outbreak information.
Of the 67 people affected, 39 have been hospitalized, and six people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
The CDC recommends throwing out any of the following products:
- Romaine lettuce label that says “grown in Salinas”
- Romaine lettuce that isn’t labeled with growing region
- Any salad mix or wrap that contains romaine and isn’t labeled with growing region
If you had romaine lettuce from the Salinas region in your refrigerator or salad products with the establishment number “EST. 18502B,” it’s important to wash and sanitize the drawers and shelves where it was stored.
If you were exposed to contaminated food products, contact your health care provider immediately.
Risks and Side Effects
The E. coli symptoms typically occur three to four days after swallowing the germ. The most common symptom of E. coli is diarrhea, often bloody, and vomiting.
Other possible side effects include:
- stomach cramps
- loss of appetite
- fever of 100–101 degrees Fahrenheit
Some later symptoms of the infection are shortness of breath, nosebleeds, excessive bleeding and even seizures.
The infection can be diagnosed by testing a stool sample, so seek medical advice if you believe you’ve been infected. A health care professional will provide rehydration and other supportive care if you test positive for this nasty bacteria.
Most people infected recover within a week, but in few cases, some people develop a severe infection that can lead to a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This is most common in children under five years old, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include:
- easy bruising
- decreased urine output
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
- On Nov. 21, 2019, Missa Bay of New Jersey recalled over 75,000 pounds of salad products because of E. coli contamination. Since then, the number of people affected by this bagged salad recall continues to grow.
- The CDC currently recommends that any romaine lettuce product grown in Salinas, Calif. should be thrown away, as it may be contaminated. Check your lettuce labels carefully, and if there is no label, do not eat it.
- The most common signs of E. coli infection are diarrhea and vomiting. If you suspect that you’ve consumed contaminated lettuce, seek medical care immediately.
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