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E-Coli Outbreak: Likely Cause -Romaine Lettuce!

Although not often, it does happen — a nationwide recall of lettuce is underway after numerous reports of food illness across the country.  E-coli contamination can be life threatening….Read on….

The contaminated lettuce is said to be shredded romaine lettuce, sold in a bag, produced by Freshway.  Imperial Sysco brand is being recalled as well.  Reports indicate the lettuce was sold in 23 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia.  It was distributed to delis, in-store salad bars, wholesalers and food service outlets.  If you have bags of lettuce at home, check the date – the infected lettuce has a "best of used by" date of May 12th or earlier.  Does yours say this?  Throw away, or bring back to where you purchased it immediately – don't take any chances.  As it's said, better safe than sorry!  Shredded romaine lettuce from Freshway Foods with “use by” dates after May 12 are not being recalled. 

As of May 5th, 19 people have been sickened with bacterial contamination and 10 other possible cases are being looked into.  College students at Daemen College in Amherst, NY and the University of Michigan were the first to report the health problems.  There are 2 confirmed cases and 5 probable cases in New York.

E. coli contaminsation can cause bloody diarrhea, vomtiing and cramps.  It can also cause more serious health problems including hemolytic uremic syndrome which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms stay home from work and call your doctor. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are investigating the outbreak as are state public health officials in New York, Michigan and Ohio.

If you are ill and experiencing any of the above symptoms contact your doctor.  If you've been out-of-work and still need to stay out but are concerned because you've had numerous absences already, address questions to a workers' comp attorney.