Happy Thanksgiving, the CDC Says You Should Throw Away All of Your Romaine Lettuce Right Now
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently issued an alert warning Americans of a massive salmonella outbreak linked to turkey, which, as you may have read, is a traditional staple of the Thanksgiving meal. This wasn't great news, but you could at least say it was our chance to appreciate the deliciousness of other cooked birds. And then today's news came.
The CDC alerted the public on Tuesday that romaine lettuce is not safe to eat. There's no 'being thankful' spin on this. It just sucks. No matter what form it comes in, chopped, whole, in a house, with a mouse, the agency is saying stay away. In fact, if you already have romaine lettuce in your fridge, officials recommend throwing it away just to be safe.
Outbreak Alert: Do not eat any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes with romaine until we learn more. If you don’t know if it’s romaine or can’t confirm the source, don’t eat it. https://t.co/NrFOIxG8hx pic.twitter.com/FuzkHv4bd3— CDC (@CDCgov) November 20, 2018
As of November 20, an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce had hospitalized 13 people, and the CDC is asking that "consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak." NBC News reports that 32 people in several states have been infected thus far.
E. coli is so dangerous because strains like this one produce the toxin Shiga, which can lead to kidney failure. Sickness usually starts between two to eight days after contact, but on average symptoms show around day three or four. The agency has gone so far as to warn, "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away."
Maybe consider this your opportunity to appreciate all the other Thanksgiving sides.