May 15, 2018, 5:44 PM ET

Diet staples eggs and lettuce remain risky bets as bacterial outbreaks continue


Two staples of the modern American diet remain risky bets amid ongoing federal safety investigations.

While a farm in North Carolina has been identified as the source of a salmonella outbreak that prompted the recall of millions of eggs in the U.S, investigators from the Center for Disease Control continue to hunt for the source of an E. Coli outbreak discovered in romaine lettuce.

To date, 209 million eggs tied to the source farm have been recalled, but investigators cannot yet issue a similar recall for lettuce.

PHOTO: Close up of fresh farm eggs in a wire basket in this undated stock photo.STOCK/Getty Images
Close up of fresh farm eggs in a wire basket in this undated stock photo.

So far, investigators have only been able to narrow down the source of the contaminated lettuce to the Yuma growing region in Arizona.

CDC spokesperson Brittany Behm said that sourcing an outbreak connected to lettuce is "harder to trace back" than other foods

"There are no barcodes on lettuce," she said.

Officials traced the salmonella-tainted eggs to Rose Acre Farms' Hyde County farm in North Carolina.

That farm sold eggs to multiple brands -- Publix, Food Lion, Country Daybreak, Coburn Farms, Nelms, Sunshine Farms, Glenview, Great Value, and Sunup’s.

While there have been at least 149 reported cases of E. Coli nationwide connected to contaminated lettuce and 35 reported cases of salmonella nationwide connected to the recalled eggs, both situations remain fluid.

Behm said that incidents of both salmonella and E. Coli poisoning are still being reported, and that the investigations will not be considered closed until there are no more reported cases.

Updated numbers are expected to be released on Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration, which has oversight over safety checks for both egg and lettuce producers, declined to comment specifically on the investigations because they are ongoing.

News - Diet staples eggs and lettuce remain risky bets as bacterial outbreaks continue

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  • MickC

    So eggs and lettuce are risky even though the only eggs with problems are from one farm and the only lettuce with problems is Romaine from the Yuma, AZ area?
    Spreading panic with a big stretch of the truth should not be part of trying to get hits on "news" articles.

  • screminmimi

    The only conditions I can think of that lettuce is subjected to now that we didn't have long before is, giant farming whereby workers in the fields don't take time to walk all the way to a designated bathroom to take a dump.... so they poop in the fields thereby contaminating the crops with human feces. Otherwise, in the past, even big family farms had cattle, pigs, horses, sheep, all manner of livestock next to the fields and there would be runoff from storms... couldn't avoid it. Never had these outbreaks. But no farm hand or family member would dare do their business in the crop field. Can't say the same for migrant workers.. they have been caught doing it and when they are working fields that are acres huge and the foremen are on them like slave owners about time and profit,,,

  • Dave

    That's weird that eggs would be recalled, but not lettuce.

    You can cook your eggs to get rid of bacteria. There's no good way to get rid of contamination off of lettuce. I guess you can cook your lettuce too but I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Prophet With Honor

    I'm 70 and have eaten all kinds of food under all kinds of conditions, including some 3rd World places most Americans would never enter.
    I have never suffered food poisoning. The odds are astronomical, so if you take common sense precautions in our modern society you should be safe.