Multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections

12 January, 2018, 06:18 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Outbreak of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce ‘Appears To Be Over

"Canada has identified the source as romaine lettuce", says Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports.

An FDA spokesperson told Consumer Reports: "This work is ongoing".

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

Consumer Reports say you should also stay away from romaine lettuce served in a cafeteria or restaurant. 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. Because CDC has not identified a specific type of leafy greens linked to the USA infections, and because of the short shelf life of leafy greens, CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any particular food at this time.

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But today, the Centers for Disease Control says that a Consumer Reports story last week advising people to avoid romaine lettuce was too quick to pinpoint that particular ingredient as the culprit. "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".

State and local public health officials continue to interview sick people in the United States to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started.

By Dec. 28, there were more than 40 cases under investigation in Canada and one reported death. The outbreak in late 2017 sickened almost 20 people in the USA and 40 in Canada. To date, FDA said it has not identified a common or single point of origin for the food that made people ill.

"There is not enough epidemiologic evidence at this time to indicate a specific source of the illnesses in the United States", Brittany Behm, a CDC representative, said.

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"People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce", Rogers said.

Outbreaks of toxin-producing E. coli are more typically linked to beef as the bacteria can get into the meat during slaughter and processing, especially ground beef, but infections from produce are not unheard of. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ.

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

You can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.

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