Stay away from Romaine lettuce if unsure, says AVA amid E.coli concerns
"If consumers have bought romaine lettuce and are uncertain about the source, consumers should discard the lettuce", says AVA about romaine lettuce safety.
If you have bought Romaine lettuce and are unsure of the source, it is best to throw it away, advises Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). The warning comes after an outbreak of E.coli infections in the US were linked to romaine lettuce.
Romaine lettuce safety in the spotlight
On 20 November 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US issued a stern advisory asking consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce, and to retailers and restaurants to stop serving the lettuce.
According to the CDC, 32 people from 11 states in the US have been infected with E.coli bacteria. Thirteen people were hospitalised, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
The alert covered all forms of romaine, including whole heads, hearts, bags, salad mixes and Caesar salad.
AVA has confirmed to Channel NewsAsia that, "There is import of romaine lettuce from the US and AVA has reminded the industry to be vigilant."
"As a precautionary measure, if consumers have bought romaine lettuce and are uncertain about the source, consumers should discard the lettuce."
AVA has also advised the public to follow good food handling practices like:
- Wash hands, utensils and food preparation surfaces before and after handling of raw food.
- Separate raw food from cooked or ready-to-eat food.
Meanwhile, these are the symptoms of E. coli infection:
- Abdominal cramps
- Diarrhoea, which may be bloody
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constant fatigue
Healthy adults usually recover from E.coli infection within a week, but young children and older adults have a greater risk of developing a life-threatening form of kidney failure called haemolytic uremic syndrome.
Contact your doctor if your diarrhoea is persistent, severe or bloody.