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Why Is so Much Romaine Lettuce Toxic?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Story at-a-glance -

  • Due to yet another breakout of E. coli, U.S. health agencies have advised American consumers to avoid eating romaine lettuce from all sources, including pre-chopped bags, salad mixes and whole heads
  • The probable source of the contaminated lettuce has been narrowed down to the Central Coast of northern and central California
  • A similar outbreak in the spring of 2018 involving Romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, sickened 210 people across 36 states, resulting in five deaths
  • You can limit your exposure to E. coli and other harmful bacteria by growing your own greens or purchasing them from a local organic farm or farmers market

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says foodborne illnesses affect 1 in 6 (about 48 million) Americans every year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. In 2018, those statistics include a few hundred individuals who contracted Escherichia coli (E. coli) after eating romaine lettuce.

As noted in the featured NBC News video, the latest alert involving suspected E. coli infections associated with romaine lettuce was issued by the CDC a few days before Thanksgiving.


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