#Providenciales, November 23, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – In an immediate response to a very important United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) Consumer Alert, the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture is issuing an urgent Public Service Announcement (PSA) to Turks and Caicos Islands public (residents, visitors, retailers, hotels etc.).
On Wednesday, November 21, 2018, the CDC has reported that Romaine Lettuce of unknown origin in the USA is contaminated with Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E. coli) bacteria. The latest release on the outbreak indicated that up to 23 persons in 11 States have been affected so far.
In accordance with the CDC advisory, the TCIG Department of Agriculture is advising consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until more information is received from the CDC about the outbreak. Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
- This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
- If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored.
- Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
- Until further notice, no Import Permits will be issued to importers for romaine lettuce originating from the USA.
- Take action(https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/foodsafety-2015/index.html)if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection(https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-symptoms.html): Visit your healthcare provider (hospital, public or private clinic) immediately.
What is E. coli 0157:H7?
Escherichia coli O157, sometimes called VTEC, is a bacterial infection that can cause severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.
Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and occasionally fever. About half of people with the infection will have bloody diarrhea.
People usually notice symptoms three to four days after they have been infected, but symptoms can start any time.