Warning:

If you have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes with chopped romaine, don’t eat it and throw it away.

 

CDC Advice to Consumers - April 2018

  • Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.
  • Take action(https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/foodsafety-2015/index.html) if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
    • Talk to your healthcare provider.
    • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
    • Report your illness to the health department.
    • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
  • Follow these general ways to prevent(https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-prevention.html) E. coli infection:
    • Wash your hands. Wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers, before and after preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals.
    • Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are sick.
    • Cook meats thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Cook steaks and roasts to at least 145˚F and let rest for 3 minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove. Cook ground beef and pork to at least 160˚F. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat.
    • Don’t cross-contaminate food preparation areas. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
    • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, unless the package says the contents have been washed.
    • Avoid raw milk, other unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices.


hand-washing.jpg

 Practice proper hygiene, especially good handwashing(https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/).
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and changing diapers.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing and feeding bottles or foods to an infant or toddler, before touching an infant or toddler’s mouth, and before touching pacifiers or other things that go into an infant or toddler’s mouth.
  • Keep all objects that enter infants’ and toddlers’ mouths (such as pacifiers and teethers) clean.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (check the product label to be sure). These alcohol-based products can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and running water.

  • Cook meats thoroughly:
    • To kill harmful germs, cook beef steaks and roasts to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (62.6˚C) and allow to rest for 3 minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove.
    • Cook ground beef and pork to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (70˚C).
    • Always use a food thermometer to check that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature because you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at its color.
  • Don’t cause cross-contamination in food preparation areas. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
  • Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices(https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html) (such as fresh apple cider).
  • Don’t swallow water when swimming(https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyswimming/) and when playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard “kiddie” pools.
  •   Follow the four steps to food safety(https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/groups/consumers.html) when preparing food: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

     

      

    Step one to food safety clean - wash your hands and surfaces often

    CLEAN: Wash your hands and surfaces often.

     

     

    Steps to food safety - separate meats from other foods

    SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate.

     

     

    Steps to food safety - cook to the right temperature

    COOK: To the right temperature.

    • Food is safely cooked when the internal temperature gets high enough to kill germs that can make you sick. The only way to tell if food is safely cooked is to use a food thermometer. You can’t tell if food is safely cooked by checking its color and texture.
    • Use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature. Check this chart for a detailed list of foods and temperatures.
      • 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
      • 160°F for ground meats, such as beef and pork
      • 165°F for all poultry, including ground chicken and turkey
      • 165°F for leftovers and casseroles

     

     

    Chill Step to food safety snowflake image

    Bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone” between 40°F and 140°F. Never leave perishable food out for more than 2 hours.

    CHILL: Refrigerate promptly.

    • Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and know when to throw food out.
    • Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. (If outdoor temperature is above 90°F, refrigerate within 1 hour.)
    • Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never thaw foods on the counter, because bacteria multiply quickly in the parts of the food that reach room temperature.