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Home / Health / Romaine salad farmers are frustrated by the government's response to E. coli outbreak

Romaine salad farmers are frustrated by the government's response to E. coli outbreak



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said "CBS this morning" that the risk of new E. coli infections by spoiled romaine lettuce are low but the number of cases will rise. That's because the CDC says older infections are likely to be related to the same strain of bacteria in Arizona. So far, 149 people have become ill in 29 states and one person has died.

The FDA has identified a farm in Yuma that delivered the lettuce that made eight prisoners in Alaska sick. These are eight out of 1

49 cases so far. However, the search for the spring is like finding a haystack in a thousand acres of land – and then finding the needle buried in it.

From November to March, John Bölts fields are full of Roman plants and lettuce, which must be passed through some of the strictest safety guidelines as they go from the farm to the crotch.

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"The industry has set itself the task of introducing rules, voluntary rules, to which breeders and shippers comply," Boelts told Cire News Mireya Villarreal.

In 2006, an E. coli outbreak, due to spinach from California claimed three lives and nearly sickened 200 people. Bölts said that industry has lost millions of dollars. By the time the Food and Drug Administration traced this eruption of Romana salad in Yuma, the growth period was over. Farmers are frustrated that the investigators did not hit the ground earlier.

"The people in our business will work as closely with them as they want and try to get to the bottom of it, but some of these things can be very hard to identify, especially weeks, months after the fact." Said Bölts.

In an email to "CBS This Morning," the FDA said, "Available packaging provides very limited information about the origin of the products." And it "welcomes anyone who might have information helpful to the ongoing investigation to share with the FDA

The FDA is already getting help from the CDC, which used new genome sequencing technology to target infections with the same heavy burden of E

"When we make this DNA fingerprint, the intention is to connect different groups of diseases in different states and say that this is something bigger, which is not just a localized event," says Matthew Wise, the deputy head of the CDC said for the response to the outbreak,

On the ground, local health officials and farmers are working closely with water safety specialist Channah Rock. She says the Roman could be in contact with E . coli have come through people in processing plants, contaminated water, manure or wildlife.

"We are trying very hard, hera to find out what types of animals can come to the fields, "said Rock. "Safety focuses on what are all possible routes of exposure and how can we minimize them?"

Californian farmers say they have already seen a decline in the market and although there is no fresh Roma from Yuma, the CDC recommends avoid it, unless you can verify it did not come from the Yuma region.

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