E. coli outbreak in US, Canada may be linked to romaine lettuce

Restaurants In These 5 Provinces Are Removing Menu Items Because Of Canada’s Deadly E. Coli Outbreak featured image

E. coli outbreak in US, Canada may be linked to romaine lettuce

Of 41 confirmed victims in Canada, 17 have required hospitalization and one person has died. Illnesses started on dates from November 15 through December 8, 2017. Two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

Neither government has initiated a recall. However, the Canadian grocery chain Sobeys voluntarily pulled romaine lettuce this past week. "Lettuce isn't that expensive, it has a short shelf life anyway", he said.

Boston Pizza made the temporary decision on Boxing Day because of the ongoing E. coli outbreak now under investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

It can take weeks to track down the source of a food poisoning outbreak.

Officials will also sequence the whole genome of the E. coli involved in the US outbreak, to determine how closely related it is to the strain in Canada.

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Consumer reports experts are cautioning consumers to avoid romaine lettuce until the source of the outbreak has been discovered. People in 13 states, including NY and CT, have been infected.

So far, the CDC has not issued a warning to American consumers, while still investigating the definite source of the outbreak.

The CDC investigation is ongoing, and not all the tests have been completed, Williams said. In the mean time, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues its warning against consuming romaine lettuce.

"Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to romaine lettuce has been identified as the source of the outbreak, but the cause of contamination has not been identified", according to the PHAC update December 28. Leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, can become contaminated during and after harvest from handling, storing and being transported.

"Do not buy romaine lettuce and don't use any that you may have in your refrigerator until there is more information on the source of contamination".

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These past two months, several people have been hospitalized, and two have died, after suffering an E.Coli infection most likely linked to Romain Lettuce.

Whole genome sequencing is being performed on samples of bacteria making people sick in the United States to give us information about whether these illnesses are related to the illnesses in Canada.

Thorough cooking usually kills foodborne bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella, but lettuce is not usually cooked. These manifest about a week after initial E.Coli infection symptoms.

"Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others". Others may feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is particularly risky, and can lead to death.

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