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British Virgin Islands Environmental Health Division officials are advising consumers not to eat romaine lettuce or products containing romaine lettuce from Salinas, California USA.
A notice was received from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who are currently investigating the multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. Coli O157:H7) bacteria that has been linked to the romaine lettuce.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Mr. Lionel Michael said, “Environmental Health Officers have already begun inspections of various supermarkets to ensure that the product has been removed from the shelves. If the Romaine lettuce is found, it will be condemned and discarded.”
The Environmental Health Division acting on the CDC alert is advising local retailers and restaurateurs to cease the sale of Romaine Lettuce.
Persons are further advised to contact a healthcare/medical provider if the product has been consumed and they show any sign and symptoms of illness with after affects.
The CDC has advised that a total of 67 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 19 U.S states.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from September 24, 2019, to November 14, 2019.
Ill people range in age from 3 to 89 years, with a median age of 25. Sixty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 50 ill people with information available, 39 hospitalizations have been reported, including six people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicate that romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California, growing region is the likely source of this outbreak.
FDA and states continue to trace the source of the romaine lettuce eaten by ill people. Preliminary information indicates that some of the ill people ate lettuce grown in Salinas, California. No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.
The outbreak is caused by the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that caused outbreaks linked to leafy greens in 2017 and to romaine lettuce in 2018.