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The Reflection

E.Coli spreads in Michigan in connection to Romaine Lettuce

2 votes

The recent spread in Michigan will affect the use of Romaine Lettuce, and therefore food selections, in restaurants and stores. Photo by Justin Walker

Once again, reports of E.Coli have been traced back to Romaine lettuce in Michigan and 10 other states. The 32 cases have put consumers on alert as they hasten to get rid of all Romaine lettuce in their homes. Restaurants and retailers have been ordered to not sell Romaine lettuce products as well, due to there being no identification of which common grower’s crop contains E.Coli.

This will put a stop to any purchase or consumption of romaine lettuce products for all Michigan residents, including Richland.

A re-occurrence of the E.Coli spread through romaine lettuce has one local student at Gull Lake High School nervous.

“This is the first major food recall I’ve ever experienced. It has lowered my confidence in our ability to stop outbreaks like this in the future,” senior Nathan Alpers said.

The lack of long-term solutions to preventing the spread of E.Coli can also be frustrating. “Throw[ing] our lettuce away seems like a cop out, not a [permanent] solution,” Alpers said.

If there are any silver linings to another E.Coli outbreak in Michigan, it would be an increase in awareness of residents.

“It will definitely make me think twice about what I’m eating,” Alpers said.

An eerily similar spread occurred earlier this year in May, with Michigan, among other states, reporting cases of E.Coli connected to romaine lettuce. Officials have had trouble catching contamination of products at the early stages. While government health officials don’t know the cause of the current E.Coli spread, the previous outbreak in May was connected to contaminated canal water in Arizona.

E.Coli, a bacterium, is commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. Humans and animals can become ill when they consume harmful, infections strains through food or water. Symptoms of E.Coli include stomach cramps, fevers and vomiting.

If any residents believe themselves to have symptoms of E.Coli, they are advised to stay hydrated and seek medical attention immediately. To avoid becoming infected, it is recommended to avoid cross-contamination of foods while cooking. Other methods of prevention include cooking meats at appropriate temperatures, using separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables, and frequent washing of hands. Healthline has an excellent article on what E.Coli is and how to stay safe.

Until a permanent solution for the decontamination of Romaine lettuce is reached, it will be essential for Michigan and other states’ residents to keep their cooking appliances and hands clean. More information on the previous case of E.Coli spread in May can be found here.

Justin Walker

I’m a senior at Gull Lake High School, and this is my first year on staff. I enjoy writing about our school sports’ programs and other areas as well. Having a deep interest and enjoyment in our English classes at Gull Lake, I’ve decided to pursue a different side of writing by doing newspaper and hope to provide entertaining articles for our viewers. Being involved in sports such as cross country and track, while also being invested to clubs such as Debate and Model UN, I write about topics that affect both myself and classmates.


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