Friday, 20 July, 2018

E Coli Outbreak Spreads to 15 States; Leafy Greens Suspected

DeLauro pushes CDC director for answers on E. coli outbreak E. coli Outbreak Update – 24 sick, 9 hospitalized, 2 with HUS, 1 dead in 15 states
Steve Townsend | 12 January, 2018, 00:32

"There appears to be an ongoing risk of E. coli infections associated with the consumption of romaine lettuce in Canada's eastern provinces", Canada said on December 28.

"To avoid any confusion and in an abundance of caution, we have temporarily removed romaine lettuce from our restaurants in the USA and Canada", said Heidi Schauer, Wendy's spokeswoman.

People are no longer being advised to consider other lettuces instead of romaine.

In Canada, 42 people were sickened and one person died.

On Monday, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asking for more information about this outbreak. "Right now the CDC is saying it could be other leafy greens, but until we have more corroborating evidence, we continue to think it prudent to avoid romaine lettuce for now".

In Canada, health officials said romaine lettuce is now safe to eat. Because CDC has not identified a specific type of leafy greens linked to the USA infections, and because of the short shelf life of leafy greens, CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any particular food at this time. CDC continues to work with regulatory partners in several states, at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to identify the source.

This infection can sometimes develop into a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. However, in the United States, state and federal agencies stopped short of making that declaration, stating that the investigation is ongoing.

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

In the meantime, we'll keep you posted on CDC and the FDAs findings of where the source of the latest E.coli outbreak is coming from.

To help prevent E. coli infection, wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing and eating food.

On Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced it was no longer advising the public against eating romaine lettuce. It's also important to avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea. Rinsing produce with cool water is a good way to protect against any bacteria lingering on the surface - though not a surefire solution to product contamination. There has been one death in California, which was previously reported as connected to the outbreak.

"In collaboration with our association colleagues we'd like to share the following update to last week's communications regarding the E. coli O157:H7 foodborne illness outbreak that has impacted many (of our) members", the produce groups' release said.

Symptoms of E. coli typically begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria.

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