LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - This week the centers for disease control reported a person died from the E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, area. With the outbreak expanding to 25 states, including Louisiana, some wonder how locals restaurants are taking action.
Restaurant owner Olivia Bellard says, "Thankfully, it hasn't affected our restaurant at all, we don't use romaine lettuce here, we use head lettuce, leafy lettuce, and we usually chop that up for our salads and that's also what we use to dress our burger and sandwiches and stuff like that, so, thankfully it hasn't affected us."
According to the CDC, one case of E.coli has been reported in Louisiana. Doctors with the LSU Agriculture Center say the Food and drug administration has addressed the issue by implementing strict rules.
Dr. Achyut Adhikari of LSU Ag says, "Farmers now have to meet all those requirements if they are growing crops which are consumed raw because those crops are highly produced, so that is a rule that is required by law."
The Food Safety Modernization Act lays out seven rules that farmers are required to follow, rules Dr. Adhikari says farmers in Arizona probably did not adhere to.
The outbreak has sparked the conversation of buying local produce.
"What I believe Louisiana produces is much safer than several of the other states," says Adhikari.
Although most infected with the disease recover in one week, it could lead to kidney failure.
We reached out to a number of local restaurants on how they are addressing the issue, many are scrapping romaine lettuce from their menu alltogether.