ibusinesslines.com December 12, 2018

Romaine Lettuce Is the Likely Source of a unsafe E. Coli Outbreak

07 January 2018, 05:28 | Melissa Porter

Romaine Lettuce Is the Likely Source of a unsafe E. Coli Outbreak

Romaine Lettuce Is the Likely Source of a unsafe E. Coli Outbreak

People should avoid eating romaine lettuce amid an outbreak of a risky strain of E. coli bacteria that has sickened 58 people in the U.S. - including NY - and Canada, according to Consumer Reports. If romaine is your go-to salad green, it's best to add some spinach or arugula to your shopping cart instead for now.

'The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada, ' the Center for Disease Control said in late December. In sad news for those of us looking to make January a month of fresh greens, in response to the indulgence of the holidays, Consumer Reports is now advising that we avoid eating romaine lettuce after an E. coli outbreak has been linked to at least two deaths. Infections in the U.S. have reportedly taken place in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington state. So far, five people have been hospitalized in the US, and one has died.

Canada is investigating 41 related cases overall, while the CDC is investing 17 reported infections from 13 states.

While anyone can get sick if they are infected with E. coli 0157:H7, young children, the elderly and anyone with conditions that weaken the immune system are at greater risk. Officials in Canada have identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in that country, but USA officials say they still don't have enough information to name a food source involved in the American outbreak. The agency says state and local health officials are interviewing those who have gotten sick to find out if there is a common source of the bacteria. Morrison said until more is known about the source and cause of the contamination, it is best to avoid romaine lettuce.

"If they want to consume romaine lettuce, paying particular attention to the really thorough washing would be important", she said.

"People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce", Rogers said.

Chapman suspects that officials will make an announcement soon about whether the USA and Canadian outbreaks are indeed the same.

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