America not only has a lot to deal with problems on an international level it now has a pretty serious epidemic on its hands and it's already taken a life. Experts at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Wednesday that three new states - Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah - have reported cases of illness linked to E. coli O157:H7.
These bacteria, called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, are generally considered to be more toxic than other strains of the bacteria, and a higher-than-expected number of people have been hospitalized in the outbreak.
In an update Wednesday, the CDC reported four more states have been affected by the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak. New cases were found in Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Texas - bringing the total number of states involved to 29. California and Pennsylvania continue to have the most reported cases, with 30 and 20 cases, respectively.
So far, as of the end of last month, 64 of the 149 reported cases have included hospitalizations. The specific origin of the outbreak is still unknown, though it has been traced to the Yuma, Arizona region. The CDC still recommends not eating any kind of romaine unless you are absolutely sure it is not from this region.
This is for Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Potato chips have also been causing people to fall ill. On May 2, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration released an announcement issuing a voluntary recall of certain UTZ and Weis brand tortilla chips. The recall is the result of a “potential contamination of undeclared milk allergen,” according to the FDA - meaning this milk ingredient was not disclosed on the chip bag’s label. As of May 8, no illnesses caused by this mistake have been reported.
The recall affects Golden Flake, Good Health, Utz, and Weis brand Tortilla Chips that were distributed in 32 regions, including Alabama, Washington DC, Florida, New Hampshire, and Texas. You can check out the full list of affected states on the FDA’s website
Sort of on a roll with their health and safety awareness reporting, the CDC tweeted a picture of a poppy seed muffin that will probably put you off them for good. The post read: “Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed. Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo?”
In the tweeted pic on the right, if you look close enough you'll see them, five bloodsucking arachnids, lounging on the surface of what could have been breakfast.
The CDC has now received nearly a thousand replies from disturbed readers, issuing this simple response in a tweet: “Sorry we ticked some of you off! Don't let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself.” If you’re too disturbed to eat a poppyseed muffin ever again, there's always blueberry or double chocolate. Be careful what you put in your mouth.