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If you have this lettuce in your fridge, it might have parasites so throw it out

Updated Nov 7th, 2022 10:26AM EST
Image: ochong/Adobe

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Leafy greens sold in stores routinely test positive for pathogens that can cause infections. As a result, retailers often have to recall the contaminated products from stores. And salads are often part of such actions. Ocean Mist Farms Romaine Hearts are the latest type of lettuce to trigger a health alert.

According to sample test results, at least one lot of Ocean Mist lettuce contained traces of a dangerous parasite. Cyclospora is the microorganism in question. It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms several days after consuming contaminated products.

Ocean Mist Farms Romaine Hearts lettuce health alert

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently issued an alert. The agency urged customers to stop eating Ocean Mist Farms brand Romaine Hearts (Coeurs de laitue Romaine) lettuce from one specific lot. The MDA did not label the action as a recall.

Of note, Ocean Mist has not announced a full-fledged recall for the product. Instead, the company mentioned the MDA alert in an announcement on its website.

The MDA noted that Romaine Hearts lettuce with coding “22RHDM2L” and a harvest date of “MAR 10” tested positive for Cyclospora during routine sampling. The lettuce comes from Coachella, CA. But it was primarily sold in various locations in Minnesota.

Ocean Mist Romain Hearts lettuce alert: Product packaging
Ocean Mist Romain Hearts lettuce alert: Product packaging. Image source: MDA

The Cyclospora infection

People can ingest the parasite while consuming water or fresh produce contaminated with Cyclospora, like these Ocean Mist Romaine Hearts lettuce. It might take anywhere between two to 14 days for symptoms to appear. They can include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Other illnesses might share some of these symptoms, and a stool test will be needed to confirm cyclosporiasis. Moreover, the condition can be quite serious if left unchecked, as diarrhea can last for several weeks.

The MDA says there have been no reported cases of illness associated with the Ocean Mist Romaine Hearts lettuce from the health alert.

Ocean Mist Romain Hearts lettuce alert: Lot Code
Ocean Mist Romain Hearts lettuce alert: Lot Code. Image source: MDA

What you should do

If you purchased Ocean Mist lettuce in the past few weeks, you should check whether the packages have the code noted above from the health alert. The MDA advises buyers to stop eating the Ocean Mist Romaine Hearts lettuce and discard it immediately.

You should still stop consuming the lettuce even if you haven’t experienced any symptoms. If you’ve experienced any digestive symptoms consistent with a Cyclospora infection, you should contact your doctor.

People who have recently traveled to Minnesota and consumed romaine hearts lettuce should ensure it didn’t come from the contaminated lot.

It’s unclear if you can get any refunds for the Romaine Hearts lettuce you might have at home. But you can always reach out to Ocean Mist for more information.

The original consumer advisory from the company is available at this link. The MDA health alert is available over here.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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