E. coli outbreak tied to romaine declared over in Canada

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CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any particular food given the short shelf life of leafy greens and because a specific type of leafy greens has not been identified.

Photo Canadian health officials linked an E. coli outbreak there to romaine lettuce, while American officials said "leafy greens" were likely to blame for illnesses in the United States.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that "no individual has become ill after December 12, 2017".

Nevertheless, the short shelf life of salads may mean the outbreak isn't likely to get worse; the people affected got sick in mid-November and early December. One of them died. At that point, there were 17 sick in 13 states. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

In an interview with NBC News, a CDC official said that even though Canadian authorities have linked the outbreak to romaine, US food safety workers haven't been able to identify a single food consumed by everyone affected.


The CDC, for its part, says that it hasn't yet identified the type of leafy green involved and that it's investigation is continuing. Five (56%) of nine ill people specifically reported eating romaine lettuce. People usually get sick 3 to 5 days after they eat food that is contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. That percentage is not significantly higher than the 46 percent of healthy people who reported eating romaine lettuce the prior week, the CDC said.

Yesterday, the Public Health Agency of Canada declared that the recent Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce appears to be over. "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". If you are concerned that you have an E. coli infection, talk to your healthcare provider. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest.

The latest authority to speak out on the dangers romaine is posing to the public is the Sudbury and District Health Unit, which serves the most populous metropolitan area in Northern Ontario. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.

For the record, symptoms of E. coli begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, notes CNN.

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