Published: Thu, November 22, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

One Ottawa resident suffering with E. coli infection, linked to outbreak

One Ottawa resident suffering with E. coli infection, linked to outbreak

Health officials in the US and Canada told people Tuesday to stop eating romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak.

In its warning, the CDC advised consumers, restaurants and retailers not to eat, serve or sell any romaine lettuce. As Thanksgiving approaches, many people are asking when it will be safe to eat again.

As CDC officials warn of a particularly unsafe strain of the bacteria, one business in St. Pete says they are profiting from the government's warning - saying their lettuce is totally safe.

All items containing romaine lettuce are being pulled from shelves across Canada within Sobeys' national store network.

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is recommending that consumers avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce until more information on the source of the contamination and the status of the outbreak can be determined.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore told The New Paper that Singapore does import romaine lettuce from the US.

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Workers have sanitized all the equipment they use to clean and process romaine.

USA authorities reported 32 cases of E. coli, 13 of which involved a person who was hospitalized. One death was reported from California.

The O157 strain, which is commonly found in ground meat, is considered more likely to cause severe illnesses than other forms of E. coli.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2018 to October 31, 2018. The CDC announced the outbreak in July, but more people have gotten sick, bringing the total to 164 in 35 states. Thirteen people have been hospitalized, including one who developed kidney failure, though no one has died. But the current alert doesn't differentiate between where or how romaine is grown, so retailers and restaurants will have to dump Gotham's romaine even though its internal testing shows no E. coli contamination in its facilities.

Most people recover within five to seven days, but infections can range in severity from very mild to life-threatening. The 50-person outbreak has not resulted in any deaths on either side of the worldwide border. But it appears similar to the strain identified in a 2017 outbreak that happened around the same time of year.

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