Unsure about source of your romaine lettuce? Throw it away, says AVA amid US E coli outbreak

Unsure about source of your romaine lettuce? Throw it away, says AVA amid US E coli outbreak

Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce is seen on sale at a supermarket in Washington, DC on Nov 20, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)  

SINGAPORE: Consumers in Singapore who have bought romaine lettuce and are uncertain about its source are advised to throw it away as a precaution, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Wednesday (Nov 21).

Responding to Channel NewsAsia's queries, AVA said that US authorities are investigating an outbreak of E coli infections linked to romaine lettuce. 

Public health officials in the US and Canada issued an alert on Tuesday warning people against eating romaine lettuce after 50 people fell ill. Thirteen of the victims were hospitalised. 

READ: Abstain from romaine: US, Canada warn on E coli in lettuce

The alert covered all forms of romaine, including whole heads, hearts, bags, mixes and Caesar salad.

AVA, however, said that investigations on the actual source of the bacteria causing the outbreak are ongoing and no specific brand or farm has been identified.

"There is import of romaine lettuce from the US and AVA has reminded the industry to be vigilant," said AVA. 

"As a precautionary measure, if consumers have bought romaine lettuce and are uncertain about the source, consumers should discard the lettuce," it added. 

The authority also advised consumers to practise good food-handling habits. 

They should wash their hands, utensils and food preparation surfaces before and after handling raw food, and separate raw from cooked or ready-to-eat food. These measures help prevent cross-contamination. 

Source: CNA/hs(hm)

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