Health Canada Warning: Contaminated Lettuce Is Spreading Fatal Illness To Canadians

Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers | Investigation Notice: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 ... - CDC
Florida case of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce

11 May, 2018

The CDC said a total of 149 people in 29 states have gotten sick since April 20, half were hospitalized.

At least 64 people have been hospitalized from E. coli linked to romaine lettuce in the U-S, including 17 with kidney failure.

People usually get sick from this strand of E. coli 2-8 days after ingesting the germ.

This strain of E. coli produces a toxin that causes vomiting and diarrhea and potentially other severe symptoms, including in some cases kidney failure.

Most people recover within the first week, according to the CDC, but some infections can be severe. No recalls have been issued in direct connection to the Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak.

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The CDC cautions against the use of antibiotics when dealing with this strain of E. coli because studies have connected antibiotic use with an increased risk for hemolytic uremic syndrome in both children and adults.

The CDC advises that diners check with restaurants and grocers on the origin of their romaine lettuce - and to not eat the romaine lettuce if the businesses do not know.

Complicating matters further is the fact that the vegetables from many different farms is often combined at different points along the supply chain, so tracing the source of the E. coli back to its source becomes incredibly complex.

One farm was found by the Food and Drug Administration to be the source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people at a correctional facility in Alaska. Therefore, it is not being sold or served anymore.

The Yuma region grows the overwhelming majority of the lettuce and other leafy greens consumed in the United States in the winter months through early April, before shifting to California's Central Valley and Salinas Valley. Officials are unsure whether the lettuce is being contaminated in the fields, by handlers who harvest the crop, or somewhere in the packaging and shipping process.

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