Coli outbreak tied to romaine spreads

Coli outbreak tied to romaine spreads

Coli outbreak tied to romaine spreads

Federal health officials say six Canadians have been stricken by a strain of E. coli that has a similar genetic fingerprint to romaine lettuce from the USA southwest that has already sickened 149 people in 29 states.

The ongoing E. coli contamination crisis linked to romaine lettuce grown and shipped from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region shows no sign of slowing down.

The CDC continues to urge consumers to avoid eating or buying any kind of romaine lettuce from the Yuma region.

The bureau says if it's determined that polluted romaine lettuce is at the Canadian marketplace, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will remember the merchandise as needed.

This current outbreak has officially outpaced that of the 2006 E. coli outbreak linked to fresh spinach. The most recent illness began on 25 April. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

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One farm was found by the Food and Drug Administration to be the source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people at a correctional facility in Alaska. No recalls have been issued in direct connection to the Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak. Most people recover in five to seven days with supportive treatment. Of the 164 cases, 64 - or 50 percent - involve hospitalizations, with 17 developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure that could be life-threatening.

In addition, some people may have fallen ill after April 13 because they bought romaine before the outbreak was announced and the product was still in their refrigerators, Chapman said.

Jaron Barnes, produce department manager at the Walmart in Rexburg, said that E. coli is something they take very seriously and they have done everything they can to prevent customers from consuming any contaminated lettuce.

Complicating matters further is the fact that the vegetables from many different farms is often combined at different points along the supply chain, so tracing the source of the E. coli back to its source becomes incredibly complex.

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