Coli Cases Identified: Consumer Reports Says Romaine Still a Risk to Eat

Outbreak of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce ‘Appears To Be Over

American officials said that the outbreak was most likely caused by "leafy greens", while their counterparts in Canada specifically identified romaine lettuce as the source of the infections there. One person has died in California.

But the agency says there have been no reports of illness since December 12.

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.

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. "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".

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.

Wendy's has not traced any E. coli infections to its customers and hasn't seen any issues with its supply chain, but decided not to take any risks. However, the CDC noted that people who got sick during this outbreak "were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce". Some individuals may develop a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which can be life-threatening, although most people recover in a few weeks.

"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", the CDC said in a statement. Canada identified romaine lettuce as the source of illnesses there, but the source of the romaine lettuce or where it became contaminated is unknown. People usually get sick 3 to 5 days after they eat food that is contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. If you are concerned that you have an E. coli infection, talk to your healthcare provider. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued its first announcement about an E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on December 11. Finally, avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea. There has been one death, which was previously reported. 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.

You've probably heard by now that 41 people in Canada have contracted E. coli from what possibly could have been contaminated romaine lettuce.

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