Health Care

Coli Cases Identified: Consumer Reports Says Romaine Still a Risk to Eat

Coli Cases Identified: Consumer Reports Says Romaine Still a Risk to Eat

The outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 tied to romaine lettuce appears to be over in Canada, but an investigation remains underway in the US, health officials said Wednesday.

In a tweet this week, Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the FDA (the agency that would be responsible for issuing any product recall), said that the FDA "will continue to update on the recent E. coli outbreak".

"The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill", the CDC said Wednesday.

The agency also said the US outbreak may soon be over.

In the US, the outbreak has resulted in 24 infections in 15 states, including seven more illnesses added since the CDC first reported the outbreak December 28.

Fewer than 20 Americans have officially been diagnosed with the same strain, and they are spread across 13 states. Illnesses started on November 15 through December 8, 2017. "Without knowing the source, it's hard to know", he said, per NBC News. "Preliminary results show that the type of E. coli making people sick in both countries is closely related genetically, meaning the ill people are more likely to share a common source of infection".

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Public health officials identified new cases in Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Indiana. Nine of those people have been hospitalized, two of whom are suffering from a form of kidney failure.

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 Canada, health officials said romaine lettuce is now safe to eat. Not all of them could remember having romaine lettuce or even green leafy vegetables he said.

In all, 42 people, from five provinces, became ill, according to Public Health Agency Canada. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ.

The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is bloody and/or watery, and mild fever. "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". You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.


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