Romaine Calm

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Romaine Calm

Erin Hutcheson, Staff Editor

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If you haven’t heard already, there was an outbreak associated with romaine lettuce. E.coli was found on romaine lettuce leaves. It has caused a panic in the food world and raised questions about why this keeps occurring.

 

In these last weeks, only California counties of Monterrey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura have been investigated for E.coli illness. The FDA said that romaine lettuce harvested from those six California counties shouldn’t be eaten. If you don’t know where the lettuce came from, don’t eat.

 

This contamination can happen on farms when birds make frequent flights over these fields. Also, it can spread when workers don’t wash their hands or farm equipment has manure on it. When these greens are picked, they are sent to the packaging plant which is exposed to more people and equipment. These packers use chlorine to wash the lettuce to kill diseases and studies showed those spays only work partly. There’s a lot of room for cross-contamination.

 

In the recent events with romaine lettuce, forty-three people have been infected with e-coli, and 16 have been hospitalized in 12 states since October.

 

The question now is, is it safe to eat romaine lettuce? Yes, if you know where it came from. If it comes from California, do not eat it. The way they have been handling lettuce is not the safest, it seems, so expect the lettuce to get infected by some illness again soon.