The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reporting that Salinas-based Tanimura & Antle has recalled some bags of single-head romaine lettuce because of possible E. coli contamination. According to a KTLA news report, the voluntary recall affects several states across the country and involves 3,396 cartons of bagged romaine lettuce that were distributed. Anyone who might have purchased the romaine bags from Oct. 15-16 are asked to dispose of them out of an abundance of caution. No one has reported getting sick after eating the romaine.
Potential for an Outbreak
The company was alerted to the potential contamination after the results of a random test sample conducted at a store in Michigan. The lettuce under recall was distributed to outlets in a number of states including California. The recalled products have a Product Traceability Initiative (PTI) sticker attached to the outside of the cases with the codes 571280289SRS1 and 571280290SRS1. The lettuce was sold in hundreds of Wal-Mart stores across the country as well.
Last year, there was a national E. coli outbreak, also involving romaine lettuce from Salinas, California, which led to warnings from food safety officials asking consumers to stop eating this type of lettuce until further notice. That outbreak led to dozens of people across the country being hospitalized. There were at least 138 cases of food poisoning reported across 25 states, including 72 hospitalizations.
What to Do If You Have Been Sickened
Some strains of E. coli can cause people to become violently ill. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea. Most people recover from this illness within a week. However, people may require hospitalization in severe cases. Some may even develop a potentially life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Those who are particularly vulnerable to serious E. coli effects include younger children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. If you are experiencing symptoms of E. coli poisoning, it is important that you get medical attention and treatment right away.
If you have any of the tainted food remaining, isolate it so it can be tested for the presence of pathogens. Contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer who can help you seek and obtain compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering.