7 new E. coli cases; continue avoiding romaine lettuce

U.S. Officials Not Ready to Blame E. coli Outbreak on Lettuce

On January 10, 2018, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections (STEC O157:H7) they had identified was linked to romaine lettuce appears to be over. "I continue to be deeply alarmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) response to the recent multistate outbreak of E. coli". Among the 18 ill people for whom CDC has information, nine were hospitalized, including one person in California who died. He said "Illness onsets among reported cases occurred in late November and early December, so the source of these cases likely is no longer on the market".

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

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

General Manager Dale Huss looks over a field of romaine lettuce with drip lines installed in it at Sea Mist Farms in Castroville Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

With the investigation ongoing the CDC is not recommending people avoid any particular food at this time.

On the same day, CDC announced the E. coli strains appeared related but would not identify a source of the infections.

In her letter, the Democrat asked CDC to clarify the coordination between Canada and the US health authorities on the outbreak, and report any information CDC may have on "implicated suppliers, distributors or retailers".

This infection can sometimes develop into a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. CDC said leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ.

If you are concerned that you might have an E. coli infection, talk to your health care provider. At least 41 people were sickened in that country, with one death. 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.

For the record, symptoms of E. coli begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, notes CNN. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.

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