On January 10, 2018, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections (STEC O157:H7) they had identified was linked to romaine lettuce appears to be over.
The last reported illness in the United States was on December 12, suggesting that the risk of buying food contaminated in the current outbreak had passed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on Wednesday.
The CDC said that six of the seven new cases occurred within the time frame of all the other reported incidents, between November 15 and December 8.
Health officials say 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.
Numerous sick people reported eating romaine lettuce in various forms from grocery stores, restaurants and other locations.
In Canada, 42 people were sickened and one person died. However, an eerily similar outbreak in the U.S.is still being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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". "We should be able to reintroduce romaine lettuce back into our restaurants soon". Because CDC has not identified a specific type of leafy greens linked to the USA infections, and because of the short shelf life of leafy greens, CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any particular food at this time.
Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and stomach cramps.
Canadian health officials say romaine lettuce is to blame but the CDC still isn't sure. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
He said the illness onsets "occurred in late Nov & early Dec, so the source of these cases likely is no longer on the market. We're working closely with partners to identify that source". The strain of E. coli involved in this outbreak, O157:H7, is particularly serious.
To help prevent E. coli infection, wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing and eating food. There is 1 reported death. The Public Health Agency of Canada began advising people in the five implicated provinces to consider not eating romaine until further notice. "You can't taste, smell or see E. coli, which is what makes it so unsafe". Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest. Romaine lettuce is mostly eaten raw and washing it or any produce tainted with E. coli will not remove the harmful bacteria.