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Safe to eat romaine lettuce: Here's what the CDC says about the outbreak.

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) - - The Center for Disease Control is giving the okay for consumers to pick up bags of romaine lettuce. 

It comes after a multi-state outbreak in 32 states. It led to 172 reported cases of E. Coli including 75 hospitalizations and one death. 

Bad stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting is not what anyone looks forward to after eating a healthy salad. 

Yet, the decision still has a few shoppers on the fence. 

Deepti Sharma is a concerned shopper. 

"Hopefully it will not be something that's repetitive or happens again," said Sharma. "I think sometimes it's just contamination." 

On the other hand, not everyone is eager to hit the store shelves. 

"I'm going to wait a little bit before we know for sure," said Dr. Vijay Chaudhary. "You never know in the future when that would emerge." 

Erica Caracoglia teaches about E.Coli at Beaufort County Community College. 

She said it starts at the roots. 

"When vegetables like lettuce become contaminated it could be through the soil that they were grown in or the fertilizer we use," said Caracoglia. "You must wash your hands after you've been in contact with an animal, wash your hands after you've gone to the restroom." 

But, how does the C.D.C determine whether foods are good to eat is the question. 

"They will continue to try to figure out the actual source of the bacteria," said Caracoglia. "Soil sample testing to see if the E. Coli is in the soil or even perhaps in the water." 

There is hope for salad lovers.

"The chance of getting the strain that's going to make you sick is pretty rare,"  said Caracoglia. 

Environmental experts say that since the harvest season is over it gives Yuna farmers time to find the reason behind the contamination. 

According to the C.D.C, romaine lettuce has a short shelf life of only 21 days. 

 


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