If you feed romaine lettuce to your rabbits, then, depending on where you purchased it, you may want to do some careful checking. A voluntary recall of Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine Lettuce affecting 2,000 cases has been announced by Tanimura & Antel Inc. Here are the details as reported by Michelle Day at examiner.com
Cases of lettuce involved in the recall were shipped to NJ, NY, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, AL, AR, AZ, CA, GA, KA, KY, MD, NC, NM, NV, and Puerto Rico. Pet owners who feed romaine lettuce to their pets are reminded that recalls such as this can affect animals as well as humans.
The heads of lettuce impacted by the recall are packaged in plastic bags and have the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9. The company has stated that the best by date may be 08/19/12 and the lettuce was available in retail locations between August 2nd and August 19th, 2012. The lettuce is being recalled due to possible Escherichia coli (E.Coli) contamination. People who think they or their pets may be affected should seek medical attention as soon as possible. In healthy individuals E.Coli infections are usually minor, but more serious infections can occur. Common symptoms, in both humans and pets, include upset stomach, diarrhea, and associated complications such as dehydration.
Pet owners are warned not to feed any of the recalled products to their pets. Herbivores such as rabbits commonly fed foods such as lettuce can become sick from E.Coli. Other pets such as dogs, although they may not be fed lettuce as commonly, can also be impacted. Please check any heads of Tanimura & Antel romaine lettuce that you may have to make sure they are not included in this recall. If they are, you can contact Tanimura & Antel Inc. at 877-827-7388 between 8am and 5pm PT Monday through Friday to request replacement coupons.
On a related note, we recently read on Etherbun a discussion about making sure rabbits get enough moisture in their systems to avoid gastric stasis. It was suggested that, when you are preparing greens for your bunnies to eat, you soak them in water for a while. We fill up the kitchen sink with cold water and immerse the lettuce, cilantro and parsley to make sure they are well hydrated before our buns get their twice-daily salads.