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When In Doubt, Throw It Out

People who have primary immunodeficiencies should heed food safety alerts.

Produce section of a supermarket

People who have immune system problems should pay special attention to food safety alerts, such as those recently issued about romaine lettuce and eggs in the United States.

“The very young, the elderly and patients who have primary immunodeficiency disease are at increased risk from serious complications due to food-borne illness,” said Dr. Ann Bullinger, Pharm. D., who leads the U.S. medical affairs team for CSL Behring’s immunoglobulin therapy area.

E. coli infections have been linked to lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area, but no precise source has been identified, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC recently broadened its warning to include not just chopped romaine lettuce in bags, but also whole heads of lettuce from the Yuma area.

“Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said.

More than 50 people in multiple states, including Alaska, have been infected with the strain of E. coli, according to the CDC. The infection causes stomach cramps and diarrhea and can lead to life-threatening complications affecting the kidneys.  

Also this month, the CDC issued an alert about salmonella in eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms and sold under other names. The eggs have been recalled. CDC urges consumers to throw out or return these eggs