Coli Outbreak From Salad Grows As CDC Reports 24 People Infected

Frederick Owens
January 12, 2018

There is new information out on the deadly E. coli outbreak in the United States and Canada. "I continue to be deeply alarmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) response to the recent multistate outbreak of E. coli".

Illnesses started on dates from November 15 through December 12, 2017.

"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 reported today. PHAC is also advising Canadian consumers that they no longer need to consider not consuming Romaine lettuce. One person has also died in Canada.

Pressure had been mounting on the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide more information to the public about this outbreak.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), a microbiologist, affirmed DeLauro's sentiments in a statement to Consumer Reports: "The delay in CDC or FDA providing updated information to consumers is very disappointing.Timely information is critical to avoid potentially contaminated foods and I call on FDA to take all necessary steps to protect public health".

However, James E. Rogers, Ph.D., Director of Food Safety Research and Testing at Consumer Reports, cautions that the CDC's position on this could give consumers a false sense of security.

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CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any particular food given the short shelf life of leafy greens and because a specific type of leafy greens has not been identified.

In response to the statements made January 10 by US and Canadian health officials, a coalition of produce industry associations from both countries issued guidance related to the recent outbreak. Nine of those people have been hospitalized, two of whom are suffering from a form of kidney failure. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states.

People usually get sick from this particular strain of E. coli three to four days after eating contaminated food. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.

Produce trade organizations issued a statement that, as of last week, no public health agency had contacted romaine lettuce growers or processors and asked to stop shipping product. Finally, avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea. While the lettuce that may have caused the illnesses is no longer on the market, we do not know where the products were sold, or where the leafy green was grown, harvested, or processed.

If you are concerned that you might have an E. coli infection, talk to your health care provider. There is 1 reported death.

You've probably heard by now that 41 people in Canada have contracted E. coli from what possibly could have been contaminated romaine lettuce.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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