E. coli

  1. Romaine is on the chopping block... AGAIN

    After the heavy comfort foods of winter, spring is a great time to lighten up.

    That's right -- it's officially salad season!

    And all of those delicate lettuces and garden veggies that are sprouting up sure make for one tasty salad bowl.

    But if you're partial to romaine lettuce -- the pale green variety that's a staple of Caesar salads and bagged salad mixes -- you're going to want to listen up before you dig in.

    Back in January, I told you about an outbreak of the lethal bacteria E. coli that sickened 60 folks in the U.S. and Canada, and romaine lettuce was the suspected culprit.

    Well, it turns out that salad greens may be a repeat offender -- because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just linked romaine lettuce to a NEW crop of E. coli infections that have sickened 35 people across 11 states since late March.

    And just 10 days ago, the agency started telling us to stop eating romaine (at least until further notice).

    More specifically, the CDC has traced the infections back to pre-chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region, although no specific farm or brand of lettuce has yet been identified.

    Now, if you live far from Arizona, you might think that you're in the clear.

    But since grocery stores and restaurants across the U.S. source their romaine from Arizona, you're vulnerable wherever you live.

    Cases of E. coli have popped up from as far away as Washington and Idaho in the West… and Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the East!

    And they haven't been mild.

    As I've told you before, E. coli can cause abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea so severe that you need medical attention.

    To date, 22 folks have been hospitalized, and three people have even developed "hemolytic uremic syndrome," a type of kidney failure.

    And since many strains of E. coli are resistant to antibiotics, you don't want to let these bad bugs in!

    The bacteria tend to hide out in the nooks and crannies of the lettuce leaves, so washing your lettuce WON'T send them down the drain.

    You could cook them off... but who cooks their salads?!

    For now, the CDC recommends that everyone avoid chopped romaine sourced from Yuma.

    But since it takes some detective work to figure out where your lettuce was grown, it's best to steer clear of ALL romaine (especially the bagged, chopped variety) for the time being.

    Make sure that your restaurant order doesn't contain it... get rid of any romaine that you may have in the fridge... and check those salad blends to make sure that romaine isn't in the mix.

    When in doubt, toss it out!

    On a more positive note, think of this as an opportunity to fill your salad bowl with leafy greens that are even healthier than romaine.

    Darker greens -- like spinach, kale, and chard -- contain more nutrients than pale romaine and iceberg, so they’re a better base for your salad creations.

    Plus, you can sauté those greens to kill off any and all bad bugs… even the ones we don’t know about yet.

  2. Romaine lettuce linked to E. coli infections

    An urgent warning about this common salad green

    If you're a fan of Caesar salad, I've got some news that you're going to want to pay attention to.

    It has to do with the salad green typically used in this calorie bomb: romaine lettuce.

    Now, you probably don't give much thought to the lettuce when you're munching on a Caesar -- it's really just a vehicle for the dressing, croutons, and cheese that your taste buds are after.

    But according to a new report, romaine lettuce is something you should avoid until further notice -- because it may be the culprit behind a recent outbreak of the nasty bacteria E. coli that's sickened nearly 60 people in the U.S. and Canada over the past two months.

    And really, why eat pale romaine at all when there are so many more nutritious, DARK leafy greens out there as alternatives?!

    The report published in Consumer Reports notes that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is still investigating the source of the tainted romaine, so we don't yet know exactly which farm or batch of the lettuce is to blame.

    But we DO know that E. coli can get into your salad bowl if bacteria from animal waste out in the fields hitches a ride on the lettuce leaves.

    And washing them off won't do you much good, because the bugs can hide in the nooks and crannies.

    And since romaine is typically eaten raw, there's no heat to cook these critters off!

    If you do get infected with E. coli, you'll definitely know -- because the symptoms of abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and fever are utterly debilitating.

    In the most severe cases, the infection could even lead to life-threatening kidney failure.

    Since many strains of E. coli are resistant to antibiotics, you want to do everything you can to keep these pathogens OUT of your system!

    And even though the CDC hasn't yet issued an official ban on romaine, you don't want to take any chances when E. coli is involved.

    So, if you've got any romaine lettuce laying around in the fridge, toss it out immediately -- and make sure to check salad blends and mixes to see if they contain any romaine, too.

    On the brighter side, it's an opportunity to KICK your Caesar habit in favor of healthier salad options!

    Since darker greens -- like spinach, kale, arugula, and collards -- contain more nutrients than their paler counterparts, they're a better base for your salad bowl than romaine or iceberg.

    Dark leafy greens have been shown in studies to protect your brain from cognitive decline... guard your eyes from glaucoma... help keep your blood pressure in check... and even cut your risk of certain cancers.

    To make your salad even more nutritious, try trading croutons for nuts and Caesar dressing for a glug of olive oil.

  3. Study finds airplanes are a cesspool of immune system challenging germs

    Sickening bacteria like E.coli and MRSA can survive on airplane surfaces for up to one full week. But having a bulked up immune system can keep you safe.
  4. Supermarket chicken crawling with germs

    Store-bought chicken is loaded with germs, with 97 percent testing positive for disease-causing bacteria, and half loaded with drug-resistant superbugs.
  5. Eating out? Read this first!

    Nasty disease-causing germs are found all over restaurants -- including a few spots you're guaranteed to touch every time you eat out.
  6. The double standard on food safety

    When raw milk is even suspected of containing bacteria -- even when no one has been sickened -- the feds trumpet it as proof positive that all fresh dairy everywhere is dangerous. It's pure nonsense, as I just told you.
  7. The poop on cellphones

    Next time you hold your cell phone up to you ear, consider this: Recent tests on hundreds of cellphones in the U.K. found nasty bacteria on nearly all of them, with 92 percent testing positive. And 16 percent were found to have the E. coli bacteria that come from poop.
  8. Tomorrow's diseases, today

    The new bug, a strain of E. coli resistant to at least 14 antibiotics, delivers a powerful one-two punch: It can lay waste to your intestines and completely shut down the kidneys.
  9. Food poisoning: It's way more common than you think

    Think about it: this first decade of the 21st century has been rife with significant tainted food outbreaks.
  10. State goons open new front in the raw milk battle

    Recently, a Pennsylvania farmer was arrested - literally handcuffed and led away by state police - because he was selling raw milk.

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