Coli outbreak source identified as California

Coli outbreak source identified as California

In Canada, based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to romaine lettuce has been identified as a source of the outbreak, but the cause of contamination has not been identified.

Following a risky outbreak of E. coli traced to romaine lettuce that sickened 32 people across 11 states, major leafy-greens producers agreed to label their packed romaine by region or state and by harvest date. United States officials are also coordinating with the Public Health Agency in Canada, which is also investigating a similar outbreak. The industry says the change was in place for lettuce now being grown in Yuma, which hasn't been implicated in the latest outbreak.

Federal health officials said on Monday (Nov 26) that only romaine lettuce from certain parts of California is unsafe to eat and romaine lettuce entering the market will now be labelled to give consumers information about when and where it was harvested.

After repeated food poisoning outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce, the produce industry is confronting the failure of its own safety measures in preventing contaminations. Grocery stores and restaurants across the nation promptly threw away their inventories and the FDA believes the "clean break" was achieved during that process.

Through laboratory studies they have identified that the E. coli O157:H7 strain causing the outbreak is similar to one that produced an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in the fall of 2017 that also occurred in the US and Canada, which was associated with consumption of leafy greens in the USA and specifically romaine lettuce in Canada. For romaine that doesn't come in packaging, grocers and retailers are being asked to post the information, including by the register.

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Also safe are romaine lettuces grown hydroponically, those grown in greenhouses as well as those grown in Mexico during the winter months and smaller quantities in other states.

This outbreak strain known as E. coli O157 is more likely than other strains to cause severe illness.

An additional 22 people in Canada have become ill, and the FDA and our partners are also coordinating the investigation with Canadian health and food safety authorities. Twenty-two people in Canada were also sickened.

- Days after warning consumers to avoid all romaine lettuce, federal health officials are revising their guidance. Yuma, for example, had another E. coli O157:H7 outbreak last spring.In that case, at least 210 people were sickened and five people died. The labels may be extended to other leafy greens, he said. Since romaine is often chopped up and bagged, a single contaminated batch from one farm that skips testing could make a lot of people sick, he said.

This particular outbreak is slowly turning out to be a scary one, as the CDC has reported that almost thirteen people have also been recently hospitalized, and not only that, one of these patients has also developed kidney failure, Thankfully, no deaths have been reported till this point of time because of the outbreak.

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