Target & Walmart Lettuce Hit By Nationwide E. Coli Outbreak

A new Thanksgiving tradition appears to be forming in the United States: a massive recalling of lettuce. 

After last year’s untimely recall of the entire nation’s supply of romaine lettuce, the same appears to be happening again this year. There has been a recall of romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, CA due to its carrying of E. coli.

The CDC first announced the outbreak on Friday, and repercussions have continued to show themselves throughout the weekend. As reported by Fox 11 Los Angeles, some of the nation’s biggest retailers have been clearing their shelves of all romaine lettuce originating from the central valley city. Target recently joined other mega-chains such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Aldi, and Wegman’s in doing so.

However, before any store could act, there had already been 40 related cases reported in 16 different states, 28 of which have led to hospitalizations, and 5 of which have resulted in kidney failure. Luckily, though, no deaths have been reported in relation to the outbreak. 

The CDC suggests to throw away any remaining romaine lettuce whose packaging says it either originates in Salinas or has no mention of growing location.

Better to play it safe than introduce an E. Coli outbreak to the family.

Unfortunately, it looks like there won’t be any salad to slowly wilt away as everyone ignores it at this year’s Thanksgiving. But, on the bright side, that’s one less dish to worry about. 

Health News Science

CDC Urges Entire U.S. To Throw Out Romaine Lettuce Because Of E. Coli

A massive, multi-state outbreak of E. Coli 0157:H7 in Romaine lettuce has pushed the CDC to take drastic measures. They’re now calling on the entire country to throw out their romaine if they’re not sure where it comes from.

Currently, 53 individuals have reported illnesses associated with the E. Coli outbreak, with the largest concentrations of disease occurring in Idaho and Pennsylvania.

In total, people in 16 different states have been involved with the contaminated lettuce, which the CDC knows to be coming from Yuma, Arizona. They appear to have not confirmed a single source from that area yet, so for now, they’re recommending that all romaine from the region be tossed out. This includes whole heads, leaves, chopped salads, and chopped pieces of lettuce.

If you don’t know where your romaine lettuce is from, the CDC advises that you toss it out regardless, even if any has been eaten without any ill effects. You should also scrub your fridge where any romaine has been present.

E. Coli 0157: H7 is a particularly nasty strain of bacteria because of some of the potential diseases it causes.

Most people will feel its effects within 1-10 days of exposure, and general symptoms will include vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, and diarrhea (which is often bloody).

Five to ten percent of those affected, however, can develop what’s known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. This condition appears about 7 days after symptoms begin, and impacts the kidney to the point where organ failure can occur. Those who develop HUS require hospitalization, but usually recover within a few weeks. The disease can prove to be fatal, however, making food poisoning involving E. Coli 0157:H7 even more of a concern.

For now, it’s best to avoid any romaine lettuce that comes from Yuma, Arizona, or whose origin is unknown, until more specific conclusions are reached by the CDC on this outbreak.

UPDATE: While no source has yet to be identified, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib announced in a tweet that Yuma’s lettuce season is nearing its end, meaning that any romaine lettuce likely on shelves now is from California. To be safe, though, consumers should continue to ask grocers and restaurants where their romaine comes from.


CDC Warns People To Stop ‘Kissing’ and ‘Snuggling’ Live Poultry, Because Salmonella

Chickens are food, not pets, and people getting lovey-dovey with backyard flocks seem to be one of the main causes of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out an “Outbreak Advisory” on June 1, where they interviewed 228 of the 372 victims of Salmonella poisoning this year. Of those 228 people, 190 (83 percent) of them admitted to coming into contact with live “backyard” poultry before getting sick.

With this crucial information in hand, the CDC basically said to cut that shit out, or at least thoroughly wash your hands after playing with those cuddly chickens or ducks.

Scariest of all, 36 of the those affected by Salmonella are children under 5, so parents, make sure you wash your kids’ hands after fowl play and keep an eye on them so they don’t start licking them, because that’s what little kids do. They lick everything.

The four major health tips provided were to wash your hands, don’t allow live poultry in your house, don’t let small children play with them unsupervised, and don’t snuggle, kiss, or eat around the birds.

If we can keep this chicken love under control, we can all avoid Salmonella outbreaks.

Hit-Or-Miss News Packaged Food

A Dead Bat Was Found Inside A Salad Bag At Walmart And Now We’re Done With Salads

We thought last year’s giant spider was the most terrifying thing you could find in a bag of pre-packaged salad. Turns out we were wrong.

Two customers discovered what is believed to be the decomposing corpse of a bat inside a bag of salad they purchased from a Florida Walmart.

According to the Guardian, the discovery has prompted a regional recall as well as an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the decayed mammal was sent to a CDC lab to see if it contained rabies, the state the corpse was in prevented conclusive results. Luckily, both the consumers showed no signs of rabies after receiving treatment.

The brand in question was identified as Organic Marketside Spring Mix. Fresh Express, the company that produces this brand of salad mix, issued a public recall to their item.

Details of the product are shown here:

Walmart has since removed all of the bags from their grocery aisle shelves. Though, bat or no bat, the CDC recommends anyone who ate from the bag of recalled salad should contact their health department just to be safe.

If you happened to purchase this item, you may want to throw it out immediately.

Health News Packaged Food Products

WARNING: Multi-State E. Coli Outbreak Linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter

If you’re a fan of alternative nut butters, pay attention. A multi-state outbreak of the infamous 0157:H7 strain of E. coli has been reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and is now currently being investigated by the FDA, the CDC, in the states that the outbreak has occurred.

Investigations have indicated that I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter is the likely food containing the bacteria, as all of those who were infected and interviewed consumed the spread within the past week. Since E. coli O157:H7 has an incubation period of 2-8 days, it’s likely to be the source of this outbreak.

So far, sixteen people from nine different states across the country have reported being infected with this nasty pathogen, and at least six have been hospitalized as a result. Eleven of the twelve infected are under eighteen years old.

E. coli o157:H7 is one of the most notorious food-borne pathogens out there. It produces a Shiga toxin that causes symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea that usually wear off after a week. In several cases when the symptoms last longer, it can result in a type of kidney failure known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) that requires immediate medical care. A third of the infected in this outbreak have developed HUS so far.

A post shared by I.M. Healthy (@soynutbutterco) on

Right now, the CDC is recommending that nobody eat the I.M. Healthy brand of SoyNut butter or its granola products, which are coated with the SoyNut butter. Schools and other institutions are being asked to not serve any of these products as well.

SoyNut Butter has also issued a voluntary recall of their products with specific “best by” dates between July and November of 2018. A family has sued the company, according to the Chicago Tribune, regarding the outbreak, which resulted in their son being hospitalized with HUS after ingesting some of the SoyNut Butter.

If you have a jar of this product, make sure to not eat it. It’s probably best to dispose of it as well to prevent more E. coli-related diseases from occurring.

Fast Food

This Is Who Chipotle’s Blaming For Scaring Their Customers Away


Chipotle’s in the news again. No, people haven’t gotten sick from another outbreak of E. coli or norovirus. At least that we know of. Rather, the fast-casual Mexican Grill called out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a letter for scaring away their customers.

According to Chipotle’s lawyers, the CDC was too eager to update the public on all the food borne illnesses that happened at the restaurant chain. This led to unnecessarily intensifying the public’s concern.

While Chipotle admits that early announcements of all the outbreaks were important to public safety, the ones that followed were only scared patrons rather than provide further, or useful, information.

The CDC responded with a letter also, saying that they followed the guidelines to protect and inform the public during all the stuff that went down last year. They felt all the updates served a purpose as the threat was still “ongoing.”

Do you think Chipotle was right to call the government agency out? Or do you feel better being up-to-date with every detail that went down during the outbreaks?


So Americans are Twice as Fat Because We Eat Twice as Much? You Don’t Say [INFOGRAPHIC]

A recently released infographic may help you better visualize the fact that even in this post-Super Size Me world, Americans are still eating too damn much.

Comparing U.S. serving sizes today with U.S. sizes 20 years ago reveals that today’s plates have at least doubled and in some cases quadrupled since 1992. Your average bag of movie popcorn back then was only five cups and 270 calories, and have since mutated to the 11 cups and 630 calories we have today. That’s 2000 calories just from sitting through the Dark Knight trilogy alone. Holy Deep Fried Lamb Balls, Batman!

The chart also compares portions between the U.S. and the rest of the world and reports that people gain weight just by moving here, notable cases including a group of Asian young adults who gained five pounds “soon after arriving” as well as a group of Tarahumara Indians from Mexico who gained nearly 10 pounds in five weeks after adopting the American diet.

According to the CDC, obesity rates are projected to rise up to 42% by 2030, up from the current 34%, which is itself an improvement over the 9.7% back in the 1950s.

Here’s to news that will surprise (and change the dietary habits of) exactly no one.

See the whole infographic for yourself here:



Salmonella Outbreak in Sushi Rolls On

It might be a good idea to lay off the sushi for a while as it has been doing damage across the United States. As of May 2, a reported 258 people in 24 different states and the District of Columbia have gotten sick from two different strands of salmonella found in raw scraped tuna.

The sicknesses have been linked to the salmonella Bareilly strain and salmonella Nchanga infections. Reportedly, at least 247 have been linked to Bareilly and another 11 to Nchanga.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention first reported the outbreak on April 4 and is still investigating the outbreak.

The states affected, along with the number of those affected are: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), California (2), Connecticut (9), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), Georgia (10), Illinois (23), Louisiana (3), Maryland (24), Massachusetts (27), Mississippi (2), Missouri (4), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (25), New York (39), North Carolina (4), Pennsylvania (20), Rhode Island (6), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (2), Texas (4), Virginia (16), Vermont (1), and Wisconsin (16).

Luckily, no deaths have been reported, but 32 victims have been hospitalized.

Moon Marine U.S.A. Corp. was linked as the probable cause of the outbreak and in mid-April, it recalled 58,828 pounds of its frozen tuna product.

Two women from Wisconsin said they became ill after eating the tainted sushi and have filed lawsuits against Moon Marine. One of the women was comfortable enough to share that she suffered from bloody diarrhea.

The CDC estimated that for every salmonella infection detected, 29.3 cases go unreported. Using that multiplier, 7,559 people may have been affected so far by the tainted tuna outbreak.

Not only sushi, but Moon Marine tuna is usually used for sashimi and ceviche, as well as dishes in some restaurants and grocery stores.

Most symptoms of salmonella will usually occur within 12 to 72 hours. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

Illnesses that occurred after April 4 might not be reported yet. If you feel you have suffered any symptoms, it is suggested to contact a healthcare provider.

[Thx CDC, Vitals and NY Daily News]