E. coli parsley

Put the parsley down! Dole has announced that E. coli (Escherichia coli) may have contaminated a recently harvested batch of curly leaf parsley. If you have purchased parsley recently, Dole recommends that you throw it away immediately due to the potential E. coli outbreak.

You can check the product code on the container to see if it matches the potentially contaminated batch: Bunches of parsley that are included in the recall came with twist ties showing a PLU number of 4899 and UPC code of 0 3383 80330 0.

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The product code for the 30-count and 60-count cases is 0 07143 000310 3 and can be found in the lower right portion of the PTI label. 

There have been no reports of illness due to the outbreak. However, Dole and FDA found the contaminate on certain parsley during sampling and, as such, are taking precautionary steps to avoid a potential outbreak. The popular herb was recalled in these five states: Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri.

E. coli is a typical bacterial outbreak. Here are some more facts on the bacteria, the diseases it causes, and how to avoid an infection. 

What Is E. Coli? 

E. coli is a bacteria found in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals, including humans. While the strains that live within our stomachs are harmless and help with digestion and production of critical vitamins, certain strains can cause gastric distress, including diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, and fever.

The type mentioned in the recall produces a toxin called Shiga toxin. Shiga toxin can cause increased blood pressure, adverse effects to the lungs and nervous system, and kidney failure.

E coli is spread via fecal matter landing on a plant. This can come from animals, manure fertilizer, or washing the vegetables in unclean water. 

Here are some more facts about e coli that will have you sterilizing your food now and forever.

Make sure you are washing all produce thoroughly before consuming. 

Am I At Risk For E. Coli Poisoning? 

Everyone is at risk for E. coli poisoning, but children, the elderly, and the immune-compromised are especially susceptible to the more severe effects of the bacteria.

Regardless, make sure you wash your vegetables thoroughly. Bacteria lodges in the folds of the vegetable, so make sure to give a good bath. 

Some farmers suggest buying a whole head of lettuce instead of bagged salads. This is because the possibility of contamination can increase when more hands touch a product.

If you’re buying a whole head of romaine, it has not been processed and is potentially uncontaminated.  

Personally I am going to avoid all this disease by continuing a steady diet of pizza, Diet Dr. Pepper, and frozen snickers bars.*

*If my mom read this I am KIDDING and I of course eat leafy greens and chicken breasts every day with plenty of water and orange juice (freshly squeezed never from concentrate).

Other Foodborne Illnesses 

Recalls are a frequent occurrence in commercial agriculture. Foodborne illnesses are as old as time itself.

Bacteria are often at home on leafy green vegetables. This is primarily due to lettuce being one of the most consumed vegetables in America. As such, it increases the likely hood of green vegtable-linked outbreaks. 

In 2018 there was a massive outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce. It is a common winter-time occurrence as well due to the ending of growing seasons. 

But it’s more than just green veggies. Onions, backyard poultry, and mushrooms are also susceptible to bacterial disease. Besides E. coli, salmonella and norovirus are common causes of outbreaks. 

Share your thoughts on this latest outbreak in the comments below.

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