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Health advisory on romaine lettuce

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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) has noted that a Health Advisory issued by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA on November 20, 2018, has identified an outbreak of illnesses in North America relating to the food safety of romaine lettuce. According to the CDC, the outbreak may be linked to Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7.

Based on new information, CDC is narrowing its warning to consumers. CDC is advising consumers not to eat, and retailers and restaurants not to serve, or sell, any romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. If you do not know where the romaine lettuce is from, do not eat it.

The MOHWE, therefore, wishes to advise the public that romaine lettuce originating from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California should not be consumed.

Refrigerated romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California should be bagged and discarded along with any other food item in direct contact with the lettuce. Refrigerators should be cleared and sanitized before replacing items.

If you experience diarrhoea, severe stomach cramps or vomiting after consuming romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California, immediately contact your physician or the nearest health facility.

Wholesale distributors and owners of supermarkets and restaurants are also advised not to offer for sale, romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California in any form to the public, until clearance is provided by the Ministry of Health. To date, no cases of illness in St Vincent and the Grenadines, as a result of persons consuming romaine lettuce have been reported. This advisory is therefore being issued out of an abundance of caution, to protect the health of consumers.

The MOHWE will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as necessary. If you require additional information, please contact the Public Health Department at 17844561991 or ehdsvg57@yahoo.com

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