Coli Outbreak 'Likely' Over; Canada Declares Romaine Lettuce Safe To Eat

Coli Outbreak 'Likely' Over; Canada Declares Romaine Lettuce Safe To Eat

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are trying to pinpoint the exact region of where the strain of E.coli is coming from and if romaine lettuce is the source.

An FDA spokesperson later confirmed this position to Consumer Reports: "This work is ongoing". States with active outbreaks of the bacteria in question are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

In Canada, health officials said romaine lettuce is now safe to eat.

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This is about the same timing of an outbreak of E. coli in Canada, which health officials declared over on Wednesday.

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".

"State and local public health officials continue to interview sick people in the United States to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started". Consumer Reports advised people to continue to avoid romaine lettuce.

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In the meantime, we'll keep you posted on CDC and the FDAs findings of where the source of the latest E.coli outbreak is coming from. Neither the CDC nor Canadian health officials have provided any information on where the romaine lettuce potentially involved in the illnesses was grown or processed, so for now, consumers should assume that any romaine lettuce, even when sold in bags and packages, could possibly be contaminated, Rogers said. There has been one death in California, which was previously reported as connected to the outbreak. The CDC, fifteen states, and the FDA are investigating the outbreak.

No individuals have illness onset dates after 12 December so the outbreak appears to be over.

In her letter, the Democrat asked CDC to clarify the coordination between Canada and the US health authorities on the outbreak, and report any information CDC may have on "implicated suppliers, distributors or retailers".

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Outbreaks of toxin-producing E. coli are more typically linked to beef as the bacteria can get into the meat during slaughter and processing, especially ground beef, but infections from produce are not unheard of. They include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.

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