Coli Outbreak Tied to Leafy Greens Likely Over, CDC Says

Although the outbreak appears to be over the Public Health Agency of Canada says Canadians should 'always follow safe food handling tips for preparing lettuce.'

Although the outbreak appears to be over the Public Health Agency of Canada says Canadians should 'always follow safe food handling tips for preparing lettuce.'

The last reported illness began on December 12, the CDC said.

"Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale", according to the CDC.

Last week, the CDC said it was eyeing leafy greens as the possible culprit and, this week, seem to be still looking for the source as the outbreak investigation continues. To date, FDA said it has not identified a common or single point of origin for the food that made people ill. WGS data alone are not sufficient to prove a link; health officials rely on other sources of data, such as interviews from ill people, to support the WGS link. Consumers there are no longer being advised to avoid eating romaine lettuce.

In an interview with NBC News, a CDC official said that even though Canadian authorities have linked the outbreak to romaine, US food safety workers haven't been able to identify a single food consumed by everyone affected. One of those people died.

The CDC noted that leafy greens were the likely source of the outbreak but Canadian health authorities pointed specifically to romaine lettuce for the spread of E. coli infections in the Eastern provinces.

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.

However, Consumer Reports is urging everyone to not eat romaine lettuce. Not all of the people infected have said that they have had romaine he said. That percentage is not significantly higher than the 46 percent of healthy people who reported eating romaine lettuce the prior week, the CDC said. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states.

However, officials indicated the outbreak in the United States may also be over soon. For STEC O157:H7 infections, this period can be two to three weeks. The heads have a shelf life of 7 to 10 days, while chopped or leaf lettuce products have a shelf life of 3 to 5 days. They include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. "For instance, if the equipment at a processing plant is contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, new product could become a source of further infections". Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because of hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli O157:H7 infection.

The CDC did whole genome sequencing on the bacteria that caused the outbreak and found they were genetically similar to those implicated in a similar outbreak in Canada. There has been one death, which was previously reported. We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

For the record, symptoms of E. coli begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, notes CNN.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.