E. coli outbreak linked to romaine appears to be over

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

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine appears to be over

That particular type of lettuce was the source of the Canadian outbreak, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Federal health officials reported seven additional cases of E. coli illness Wednesday in a deadly E. coli outbreak that has now struck 15 U.S. states.

Eighteen people have become ill, nine people were hospitalized, and one person died in California. Leafy greens such as lettuce typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, officials say it's likely that the contaminated greens are no longer available for sale. The government issued an official warning and recalled all bagged and fresh stores of romaine lettuce, but the bacteria still managed to sicken at least 58 people so far in the us and Canada. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement there was "likely" no longer a concern. CDC should conduct the investigation while providing timely public information, she recommended. Five (56%) of nine ill people specifically reported eating romaine lettuce.

The CDC, for its part, says that it hasn't yet identified the type of leafy green involved and that it's investigation is continuing.

In response to the statements made January 10 by USA and Canadian health officials, a coalition of produce industry associations from both countries issued guidance related to the recent outbreak. "We're working closely with partners to identify that source", Gottlieb said.

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"Without knowing exactly what caused this outbreak, we risk seeing a new batch of tainted product come onto the market", he said. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ.

You can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because of hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli O157:H7 infection. Contamination is also possible at the grocery store, in the refrigerator, or from counters and cutting boards through cross-contamination with bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood.

On Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced it was no longer advising the public against eating romaine lettuce. Finally, avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest. There is 1 reported death.

"In collaboration with our association colleagues we'd like to share the following update to last week's communications regarding the E. coli O157:H7 foodborne illness outbreak that has impacted many (of our) members", the produce groups' release said.

For the record, symptoms of E. coli begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, notes CNN.

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