The new outbreak of E. coli in lettuce that has put the nation on alert on the eve of Thanksgiving is making its impact felt in the local economy since Wednesday that the US Department of Agriculture ordered it to stop the harvest of this vegetable.
"This is already affecting us.I have had three gangs since Wednesday because of the lack of evidence and buyers are going to stop consuming romaine lettuce.This is not normal, before there were less precautions and these outbreaks were not seen.Something is happening "said Antonio Oseguera, a contractor for agricultural labor since 1985 and president of Oseguera Harvest.
He explained that there are 60 unemployed, which is causing losses of 27 thousand dollars a day. "I have few people dedicated to the Roman lettuce harvest, but there are people who have up to 1,000 workers. In the region, 10,000 acres are harvested per week and the Roman lettuce is one of the strongest products in Yuma County, it is planted a lot. "
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 32 cases of people who became ill due to ingestion of Roma lettuce contaminated with the E. coli O157: H7 strain were reported. producer of Shiga toxin in 11 states of the American Union, 13 of these were hospitalized, including a person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. So far no death has been reported.
The illnesses began on dates that ranged from October 8 to October 31, so you can focus on the lettuce collected in Monterey County, California, or the surrounding region.
The CDC indicated that the Public Health Agency of Canada also identified 18 people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157: H7 bacteria in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
The CDC's recommendation to consumers in the country is not to eat Romaine lettuce and retailers and restaurants should stop selling it and serve it until more is known about the outbreak as the investigation is under way.
This outbreak is not related to last spring, which had its origin in the water of a canal in Yuma County and caused hundreds of people to become ill in 32 states and 5 people to die.