Ministry Issues Advisory To Protect The Health Of Consumers

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is advising members of the public that romaine lettuce originating from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California should not be consumed.

This follows a Health Advisory issued by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on November 20, 2018, which has identified an outbreak of illnesses in North America relating to the food safety of romaine lettuce.

Based on new information, CDC is narrowing its warning to consumers. It is advising consumers not to eat, and retailers and restaurants not to serve, or sell, any romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. If you do not know where the romaine lettuce is from, do not eat it.

The Ministry of Health is therefore appealing to persons who may have refrigerated romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California to bag and discard of it along with any other food item in direct contact with the lettuce. Refrigerators should be cleared and sanitized before replacing items.

The Ministry said in a statement today that if you experience diarrhoea, severe stomach cramps or vomiting after consuming romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California, immediately contact your physician or the nearest health facility.

Wholesale distributors and owners of supermarkets and restaurants are also advised not to offer for sale, romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California in any form to the public, until clearance is provided by the Ministry of Health.

To date, no cases of illness in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as a result of persons consuming romaine lettuce have been reported. This advisory is therefore being issued out of an abundance of caution, to protect the health of consumers.

The Health Ministry will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as necessary.

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