Coli Outbreak 'Likely' Over; Canada Declares Romaine Lettuce Safe To Eat

12 January, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • FDA Commissioner Comments on Deadly E. coli O57:H7 HUS Outbreak That May Be Linked to Romaine Lettuce

The Public Health Agency of Canada said that the outbreak there appears to be over.

The outbreak of E. coli has made at least 17 people sick in 13 states, including a case in OH, according to the CDC.

"Even though we can't say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the USA, a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is nearly always consumed raw", James Rogers, director of food safety and research at Consumer Reports, said in a press release. The government issued an official warning and recalled all bagged and fresh stores of romaine lettuce, but the bacteria still managed to sicken at least 58 people so far in the USA and Canada.

However, neither Canadian authorities nor the CDC have even been able to figure out exactly how people were getting sick; some people ate prepared salads at restaurants, while others likely got sick eating lettuce at home. One person has also died in Canada.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are trying to pinpoint the exact region of where the strain of E.coli is coming from and if romaine lettuce is the source.

CDC and FDA will continue to update the public as more information on the outbreak source is uncovered.


With the investigation ongoing the CDC is not recommending people avoid any particular food at this time.

The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is bloody and/or watery, and mild fever. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

"Leafy greens typically have a short-shelf life and, since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale", the CDC said. In the United States, 17 people are sick.

People usually get sick from this particular strain of E. coli three to four days after eating contaminated food.

To help prevent E. coli infection, wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing and eating food. If you are concerned that you have an E. coli infection, talk to your healthcare provider.

Produce trade organizations issued a statement that, as of last week, no public health agency had contacted romaine lettuce growers or processors and asked to stop shipping product. It's also important to avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest. There has been one death in California, which was previously reported as connected to the outbreak. The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients.

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