Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Hold the Romaine Lettuce

Hold the Romaine Lettuce

Consumer Reports recently put the public on notice after it learned 59 people in the United States and Canada were infected with E.coli, which they possibly contracted after eating romaine lettuce.

A pair of fatal E. coli outbreaks linked to leafy greens in the United States and Canada appear to be over, health experts said on Wednesday.

The public health agency considers the outbreak to be over, it said, because there have been no reports of illnesses starting after December 12.

In Canada, health officials now say the outbreak appears to be over.

The CDC's investigation has not identified a specific type, brand, or producer of romaine or any other leafy greens, which Wise says has made it hard to home in on a source. The CDC said the likely source of the USA outbreak appears to be leafy greens, but it is not recommending Americans avoid any particular food at this time. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any type of particular food. Based on this information, US health officials concluded that ill people in this outbreak were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce. Leafy greens, including romaine lettuce, were the cause of outbreaks from E. coli 0157:H7 in 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In a January 8 letter to CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, DeLauro didn't mince words: "CDC's stunning lack of guidance to consumers regarding this outbreak is unconscionable".

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency - which is similar to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - tested samples of romaine lettuce as part of the outbreak investigation. That's an increase of seven illnesses since the initial report of the outbreak on December 28, 2017.

USA officials are continuing their investigation.

The outbreak is responsible for 66 infections and two deaths in the two countries.

There were 42 cases in five eastern provinces: Ontario (eight), Quebec (15), New Brunswick (five), Nova Scotia (one) and Newfoundland and Labrador (13).

If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900.

Symptoms of E.coli usually start within three to 10 days after consumption. But infection with the O157 strain, which produces a shiga toxin, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods. It urged the public to avoid eating romaine lettuce until more is known about the contamination.

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