Coli Outbreak: Should You Really Avoid Romaine Lettuce?

Coli Outbreak: Should You Really Avoid Romaine Lettuce?

28, a total of 17 people had reported falling ill in 13 states, including one person in MI. Of the 17 USA cases, five people have been hospitalized, one of whom has died in California. In the US, illnesses were from November 15 through December 8. American health officials, however, say while the E.coli cases appear to be similar, it's too early to tell you to avoid a particular food. U.

A multistate E. coli outbreak has food safety experts warning consumers to avoid Romaine lettuce for the time being, as it is said to be the likely cause of the food poisoning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not yet identified the cause of the 17 illnesses and one death reported in the United States, but said last week that the strain of virus found in both countries-E. coli O157:H7-is the same.

Genome sequencing is being performed on bacteria samples making people sick in the United States to provide information on whether the illnesses are related to those that occurred in Canada. But U.S. public health officials are still interviewing "unrelated sick people" to determine when, where and what they ate before becoming ill.

So far, there is no evidence to suggest that provinces in western Canada are affected by the outbreak.

However, Consumer Reports advised that just to be safe, consumers should avoid romaine lettuce until the cause is identified. The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported on 41 illnesses.

No news is not good newsNeither government has released information about the supplier (s), distributor (s) or retailers that handled the implicated romaine lettuce - which is believed to remain in the supply chain.

According to, the strain may cause kidney failure and even death.

Advice to consumersAnyone who has eaten romaine lettuce and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should immediately seek medical attention. They may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, pain or tenderness and diarrhea. Other cases have since been reported but not confirmed. "In some cases, individuals become seriously ill and must be hospitalized", according to the health agency notice.



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