Do not eat romaine lettuce following E.coli outbreak — CDC

Pearl Mccarthy
November 21, 2018

Health Canada released public health notice to Canadians, warning consumers to avoid eating packaged romaine lettuce while an investigation into and outbreak of E. coli infections in Ontario, Quebec, and several US states continues.

The CDC added that the advisory includes all types of romaine lettuce, from precut to whole heads to spring mix. "As a direct response to the outbreaks we have seen, the agency will also begin a special effort to sample and test romaine lettuce for contamination throughout the market". Of those, 13 have been hospitalised, with one patient suffering from a form of kidney failure. The infections span 11 USA states and include 13 hospitalizations, one case of kidney failure, but no deaths.

The CDC says stores and restaurants should also not serve or sell any until more about the outbreak is known.

Most E. coli bacteria are benign but some can cause illness, with symptoms including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

Romaine lettuce is displayed on a shelf at a supermarket in California in April, during an E. coli outbreak traced to contaminated lettuce.

The CDC will be providing new updates as it learns more about this particular outbreak, but until then, just avoid the leafy vegetable and you should be okay.

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She said washing contaminated lettuce won't ensure that harmful germs are killed.

Some people can be infected with E. coli, but still spread the infection to others, the agency said.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday that it is "frustrating" that the FDA can not tie the outbreak to a specific grower, but "we have confidence that it's tied to romaine lettuce".

"As I write this, the CDC has not offered specifics to identify which of our divisions might be involved, so our food safety experts are removing romaine lettuce from sale as quickly as possible until further notice", he said.

The Washington Post has a special announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: throw away your romaine.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from 8 October to 31 October.

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