NewsCovering Kern County


E Coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce infects ten people in California

Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 20:48:37-05

A health alert was released Wednesday about the E Coli outbreak now plaguing 11 states and 32 people in the U.S.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting ten of those people who are infected reside right here in California. 23ABC News has been following the outbreak and spoke to health officials.

According to Kern County Public Health none of the cases in California have been reported to be in Kern County. Now it's still early in the CDC’s investigation but officials said Wednesday viewers at home can take steps to protect themselves before they sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.

It's pretty simple don't eat Romaine lettuce, public health said that if you have some in your fridge right now throw it out immediately then even clean out your fridge right after, don't order it from any restaurants and make sure to ask if what you are ordering has any romaine lettuce in it at all.

If you are experiencing bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and or fever you may have E Coli and official said you need to seek medical attention immediately from your doctor.

However, this is not the first time this year that E Coli has attacked romaine lettuce. One that was reported earlier this year by the CDC ended on June 28, but officials said there is no evidence at this time to show that the two outbreaks are linked.

"So as far as other recalls that have taken place with romaine lettuce and leafy greens there is nothing that we have that indicates that this is a part of those recalls at the time. However, the investigation is new, there is going to be a lot more information that comes out, but at this time there is nothing that is connecting this to the other recalls," Kern County Public Health Spokesperson, Michelle Corson said.

It is unclear if stores will refund people for their romaine lettuce, but public health said all stores in Kern County need to remove romaine lettuce from the shelves immediately.

The CDC has not identified a brand or grower linked to this outbreak at this time. Public Health said it's not clear why E Coli attacks lettuce but it can be transmitted in a variety of ways including a contaminated water source, animal feces, or even the processing of the lettuce.

At this time the CDC has not released the list of counties in California that are affected by this new outbreak but again it's important to just remember to keep romaine off of your Thanksgiving table as of now.