The Ministry of Health (MOH) advises the general public, that with immediate effect Romaine Lettuce originating from the United States SHOULD NOT be consumed until further advised.
This decision came after the ministry consulted and confirmed with its collaborating partners including the United States-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who on 20 November 2018, identified an outbreak of illness in North America relating to the safety of romaine lettuce within US territories.
According to the CDC the outbreak may be linked to a particular type of E. Coli bacteria.
Health officials say that it is for such reasons, persons should not eat the lettuce at this time.
On Friday, Dr George Mitchell, the Chief Medical Officer in the MOH, told the GIS that as a means of precaution the ministry is reminding and encouraging home owners, as well as operators of restaurants, hotels and other establishments that sell food for public consumption to bag and discard all refrigerated romaine lettuce as well as any other food item in direct contact with the lettuce.
Mitchell added that some bacteria can survive in different conditions, therefore refrigerators where the lettuce were stored should be cleared and properly sanitised before replacing items in them.
Meanwhile members of the public who may have consumed the romaine lettuce and are exhibiting symptoms consistent with gastroenteritis including diarrhoea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting to immediately contact their physician or visit their nearest health facility.
Health officials say the ministry would stay in close contact with the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and WHO network that helps member states in managing food safety risks, ensuring rapid sharing of information during food safety emergencies to stop the spread of contaminated food from one country to another.