Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medical | By

Canadians became sick due to E. coli in romaine lettuce

Canadians became sick due to E. coli in romaine lettuce

Health officials say that they are investigating the issue to get to the bottom of it and to finally determine if the contaminated romaine lettuce is in the Canadian market - if yes, Canadian Food Inspection Agency will recall the product as required.

There are now no food recall warnings linked to this outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona and California is no longer being produced and distributed, so the potential for exposure to contaminated lettuce is reduced. The bacteria recently killed one person in California, marking the first fatality tied to the outbreak.

"Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli O157 infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli O157 infection is ruled out", the CDC says. Of 129 people, 64, or 50 percent, have been hospitalized, including 17 people who developed severe kidney failure. The CDC warns consumers not to buy romaine unless they can verify the region of production. Restaurants and retailers are also instructed not to sell or serve romaine lettuce, and to check with their suppliers regarding where their romaine lettuce is sourced.

Romaine known to be grown in coastal and central California, Florida and central Mexico is not at risk, according to the Produce Marketing Association. At this rate, the E. coli outbreak is expected to worsen overtime.

In that case, the contamination was traced to a nearby stream half a mile down from a cattle pasture.

Usually, illness sets in "an average of three to four days after swallowing the germ". The agency said in a recent statement that it has "identified dozens of other fields as possible sources" for these cases. The most recent illness started April 25.

What's more, it can take up to 72 hours for people to show symptoms of E. coli food poisoning, Chapman said, and then it may be several more days before the illness is confirmed as E. coli.

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