CDC: Don't eat romaine lettuce ahead of Thanksgiving, Ohio scientists share safety tips


CDC: Don't eat romaine lettuce ahead of Thanksgiving, Ohio scientists share safety tips

News that all romaine has got to go, just days before Thanksgiving, a major cooking holiday, has some shoppers thinking twice.

"That makes me look over, you know, not grab the first thing that I see," said Kara Roberts who lives in Grandview Heights.

The CDC is investigating an outbreak of e. Coli infections linked to romaine lettuce, that's 32 cases in 11 states.

One case was in Ohio.

"We immediately threw everything out as we were heading out," said Ime Ibokette, who works at a local fast food restaurant.

The outbreak means no one should eat romaine, stores shouldn't sell it and restaurants shouldn't serve it as the CDC investigates.

ABC6/FOX28 went to Ohio State's Food Microbiology Lab to find out how this could impact so many products.

"They try very hard to prevent the microorganism from reaching the fresh produce in the field, but usually it is not 100 % always happening this way," said Dr. Ahmed Yousef PhD, a Professor of Food Microbioogy at Ohio State Unversity.

Dr. Yousef said problems can arise during packaging too.

The CDC advises you get rid of all romaine lettuce, in salad mixes, whole heads of it and more.

Dr. Yousef said this likely isn't the end of this problem.

"We are seeing more outbreaks coming from fresh produce and less outbreaks coming from meats," he said.

His message: use common sense.

"Cross contamination can be a problem, but in general I would throw away and get rid of the lettuce," he said, "I would do reasonable cleaning without overwhelming myself and my family."

The CDC recommends cleaning your refrigerator.

News that all romaine has got to go, just days before Thanksgiving, a major cooking holiday, has some shoppers thinking twice. (WSYX/WTTE)

Stay with ABC6/FOX28 for updates on this breaking story.

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Follow Haley Nelson on Facebook and Twitter: @haleywsyx6

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