Medical

Hold the Romaine Lettuce

Hold the Romaine Lettuce

On its website in December, the public health agency said that continued reports of illnesses suggested that contaminated romaine lettuce may still be in restaurants and stores, and advised people living in Eastern Canada to avoid romaine lettuce.

Consumer Reports has not yet announced an end to it's warning. States with active outbreaks of the bacteria in question are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. "Although some sick people reported eating romaine lettuce, preliminary data available at this time shows they are not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine, based on a CDC food consumption survey". Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome because of an E. coli infection.

In the United States, CDC, several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continue to investigate a multistate outbreak of 24 STEC O157:H7 infections in 15 states.

In a news release issued earlier on Wednesday, the CDC said the "likely source" of the outbreak in the USA appeared to be "leafy greens", but unlike in Canada, officials had not identified a specific type. Illness onsets among reported cases occurred in late Nov & early Dec, so the source of these cases likely is no longer on the market. "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".

DeLauro pushes CDC director for answers on E. coli outbreak

In the USA, the FDA, which had not posted any public information about the outbreak until today, is assisting the CDC, but has virtually nothing to report. There is 1 reported death. To date, FDA said it has not identified a common or single point of origin for the food that made people ill. Five, or 56%, of nine ill persons said they ate romaine lettuce. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states.

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

Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and stomach cramps.

To protect against E. coli infection, health officials say people should thoroughly wash their hands, as well as counters, cutting boards and utensils. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ.


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