I had a chance tonight after landing in Washington D. C., to chat with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the status of the “leafy green’s industry.” So far in the recent E. coli O145 outbreak there are 23 confirmed illnesses in four states. However, the Romaine Lettuce has been recalled in 23 states. Here is the interview:
Food safety lawyer Bill Marler said consumers should not give up eating a good thing out of fear. He also suggested that whole lettuce was a safer option than the bagged variety.
"Mass-produced lettuce is big business. The public wants it. But think hard whether the convenience is worth the risk," said Marler, who has filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Ohio State University student who was sickened by E. coli 0145.
The Seattle, Washington-based lawyer credited the industry with having done "a remarkable job" in ensuring that large-scale outbreaks are not as common as they once were, but he said growers, shippers and manufacturers need to do more.
"They have a responsibility to the consumer to do the absolute best they can to get animal feces out of their food products," he said, referring to the source of the bacteria.
He speculated that the true number of people sickened by the outbreak is more than 23. "Probably a lot more, because not very many labs test for E. coli 0145," he told CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.