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Home / Business / That Caesar's salad can make you sick, says CDC, which encourages consumers to avoid all Romans

That Caesar's salad can make you sick, says CDC, which encourages consumers to avoid all Romans



Romaine salad is unsafe to eat in some form, American Center for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday said in a broad notice in response to a new outbreak of diseases caused by a particularly dangerous type of E. coli contamination.

CDC told consumers to waste Romaine salad they have already bought. Restaurants should not earn it, the stores should not sell it and people should not buy it, no matter where or when the salad was grown. It does not matter whether it is chopped, whole head or part of a mixture. All romaine should be avoided.

The CDC alert, issued just two days before the Americans sat down for their Thanksgiving dinners, reported that 32 people in 1

1 states have become ill from eating contaminated romaine. Of these, 13 have been hospitalized, with a patient suffering from a form of renal failure. No deaths have been reported.

There are no cases in Maine, but CDC reported two in New Hampshire and two in Massachusetts.

"In response to Centers for Disease Control's Consumer Advisory issued on November 20, Shaw and Star Market were removed all Romaine salad and products containing Romaine salad from sales due to potential contamination by E. Coli, said Shaw's spokeswoman Teresa Edington. "Customers who bought these products should throw them away or return them for full refund."

Early Tuesday evening, all Romaine salad products were removed from Shaw's Mill Creek location in South Portland, with warning explain to customers why.

At the nearby Hannaford romaine was still on the shelves a few hours after the CDC recommendation was published. A spokesman from Hannaford did not respond to messages from Tuesday.

The origin of the outbreak is unknown and remains under investigation. CDC did not limit the warning to romaine from a particular agricultural area.

A common strain of E. coli was detected in six of the sick people and you see t to match the bacterial strain found in an outbreak of diseases from polluted leaf Greens late last year that hit people in both the US and Canada. The outbreak was declared in January.

Five people died in the last major outburst of contaminated romaine, which lasted from March to June this year, leading to 210 cases in 36 states. The outbreak was tracked to Yuma, Arizona, growing region, but investigators never decided for the exact source.

All three outbreaks – the present one, one from Yuma and from last year – are due to the contamination of this deadly strain called E. coli O157: H7. It produces a Shiga toxin that can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. Until the 1990s, most E. coli cases occurred in humans from eating contaminated hamburger. In recent years, after reforms in the livestock industry, the outbreaks have mostly been associated with green vegetables.

Press Herald Staff Writer Joe Lawlor contributed to this report.

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