The Spread of E-Coli

Addison Nixon, Salad Fanatic

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Escherichia coli, or E. coli is the collection of bacteria in certain foods found in the
environment. Most E.coli strands live inside the intestines of animals and are completely
harmless, however the most recent outbreak is beginning to make many very sick. This
strand, 0157:H7 is producing dangerous toxins that can potentially lead to kidney
failure. After further investigation, the FDA narrowed the virus down to only being found
in Romaine Lettuce, particularly romaine grown in California. The outbreak appears to
be caused by regions in California growing lettuce in the summer months and the ‘end
of season’ romaine lettuce is what became contaminated. The FDA issued a request for
all Romaine Lettuce to be taken out of grocery stores and any consumers selling it,
along with any lettuce found in anyone’s home. Upon further investigation, the FDA was
able to target it down to more specific areas. Similarily, in the fall of 2017, an outbreak
of E. coli was spread through the US and parts of Canada due to specifically, Romaine
Lettuce, tracing back to a specific region in Central California. The spread is said to
have stopped due to the demand that all Romaine Lettuce be taken off the shelves,
however more importantly, the FDA has taken further measures to ensure the safety of
consumers. The FDA as called that all Romaine Lettuce producers supply unambiguous
and clear information to its consumers regarding where their lettuce was grown, and
when it was harvested. Start expecting some new stickers to appear on your produce to
provide customers a clear insight on what they’re ingesting. The FDA also claims to be
implementing a new system to help better trace the origins of produce, as well as a
team to further investigate why an outbreak such as this occurred and how to stop it

from occurring again.

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