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Archive for January 2019

Is Romaine Lettuce Safe to Eat?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no doubt you’ve heard about thee. Coli outbreak in romaine lettuce. For weeks it has been unsafe to purchase, eat, or order any romaine lettuce while the FDA worked to narrow down the problem. Through proper inspections and research, they have finally located the problem area, and some romaine lettuce is safe to enjoy!

What is Romaine Safe?

After this major outbreak, the FDA had decided that all romaine will now be labeled to detail what region it comes from and when it was harvested. They determined that the outbreak has been linked to the Central Coast region of California. That means that any romaine on the store shelves that isn’t from the Central Coast region is safe to enjoy! If romaine is not packaged, your grocery store should have the information regarding the region and harvest date posted near the register. If romaine is not labeled and the information is not posted, don’t purchase or consume it.

Preventing Outbreaks Moving Forward

The FDA came up with the new labeling system to avoid growers in safe regions from being forced to throw out perfectly safe produce. Primarily, the winter growing found areas in Arizona, Florida, and Mexico are safe for sale and consumption. Leafy greens are often linked to outbreaks and food poisoning, but the new e. Coli outbreak finally got the attention of the FDA in a significant way. Moving forward, the aim is to implement this labeling process into all leafy greens sold in stores. Then, if an outbreak occurs, it can be quickly narrowed down and controlled. 43 people in 12 states were affected by the recent romaine outbreak and an additional 22 people in Canada. Canada is familiar with the possibilities of illness from leafy greens, stating it as a common occurrence there as well.
FDA officials and farmers are working together to determine why romaine has been involved in so many outbreak incidents in recent years. They’re taking into account environmental factors, physical factors of the plant, and more. Romaine has a shelf life of approximately 21 days which means the infected greens could still be on store shelves or in your home. Even if you have romaine that you have eaten part of without problems, it’s best to dispose of it and repurchase romaine that is clearly labeled to be from a safe region.

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How Hepatitis Made a Comeback in 2018

2018 was an exciting year in many ways. Many changes for the better were made, but a few changes for the worst occurred as well. One of the most notable adverse changes that need to be addressed is the return of hepatitis. Hepatitis has been around for decades, but just last year the condition saw a rapid increase in the number of cases.

What Causes Hepatitis?

Hepatitis comes in three forms, A, B, and C. each form is an infection of the liver, but there are differences in how they affect the body and how they’re contracted. Hepatitis A is most commonly seen in those who travel internationally without receiving their vaccination. Food and water sources in unsanitary or uncontrolled areas carry hepatitis A. To avoid hepatitis A, you should always ensure you’re vaccinated before traveling overseas and only dine in established places. Hepatitis A is typically detectable by symptoms including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Hepatitis B and C are very serious as well, and actually, have an even higher death rate than hepatitis A because they often show no symptoms at all. As the drug epidemic in America continues to grow, so do the cases of hepatitis B, and C. injectable opioids and other substances often lead to addicts sharing needles and spreading the infection from one to another through blood. Since no symptoms are present in most cases, the infected individual continues to spread the disease unknowingly. The rise in individuals choosing not to get vaccinated and the growing drug problem in this country are the leading causes of the return of hepatitis.

What if Hepatitis is Untreated?

Undetected and untreated hepatitis can have dire circumstances. The liver infection can turn into liver cancer over time, and many infected individuals don’t see any symptoms until it reaches that point. Untreated hepatitis is a viral infection that can be spread from one person to another. Even hepatitis A can be spread from one individual to another through fecal to oral acts that are becoming increasingly popular in younger generations. The medical community hopes to educate more individuals about their potential risk of hepatitis A, B, and C so that they can get tested and vaccinated as needed. To return numbers of hepatitis cases as low as they once were, people need to become more aware of the problem and actively trying to stop the spread of the infection.

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