As a precautionary measure, Canyons District is pulling all lettuce from meals served in school cafeterias until American health officials declare that an E.coli scare is over.
The outbreak, which has sickened dozens of people in up to 11 states so far, began in mid-March and may have been caused by bagged and pre-chopped lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region and distributed to retailers across the country.
While no Utahn is one of the 35 cases, Canyons District is erring on the side of caution. For the health and safety of students and employees, the lettuce that had been purchased for regularly schedule meals will be discarded.
CSD’s Nutrition Services Department had ordered 32 cases of chopped lettuce and 22 cases of head lettuce for upcoming menus, said CSD Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas.
Menus containing lettuce will either be modified or lettuce will be omitted from the food item, Varas said. Students were informed today that salads will not be served.
The majority of those who have fallen ill reported eating romaine lettuce within a week of feeling such E.coli-related sickness symptoms as abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and fevers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is urging all U.S. consumers who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home to throw it away, even if it has been partially eaten and no one became ill. The CDC also says that consumers, before purchasing lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, should confirm it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma region.
Varas says the recent egg recall over salmonella does not impact the District.