Canada says outbreak over

Outbreak of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce ‘Appears To Be Over

That particular type of lettuce was the source of the Canadian outbreak, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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. Because leafy greens tend to have a short shelf life-and because the last known illness related to the outbreak occurred last month-it is likely that the contaminated food that's causing illness is no longer available in retail stores or foodservice establishments. However Canadian health officials have identified Romaine lettuce as the type of leafy green that was the likely culprit in their outbreak.

Last week, Consumer Reports advised people to avoid eating romaine while the investigation proceeded. One of those people died.

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.

General Manager Dale Huss looks over a field of romaine lettuce with drip lines installed in it at Sea Mist Farms in Castroville Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Thus, CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any particular food given the short shelf life of leafy greens and because a specific type of leafy greens has not been identified.

Caesar salads are off the menu at Wendy's for the time being as U.S. Center for Disease Control investigates an outbreak of E. coli infections that might be linked to eating romaine lettuce.

"Without knowing exactly what caused this outbreak, we risk seeing a new batch of tainted product come onto the market", he said.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued its first announcement about an E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on December 11. Currently, no common supplier, distributor, or retailer of leafy greens has been identified as a possible source of the outbreak. There is 1 reported death. The strain of E. coli involved in this outbreak, O157:H7, is particularly serious. Most people recover from the illness in five to seven days but some develop a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be fatal. "You can't taste, smell or see E. coli, which is what makes it so risky". It urged the public to avoid eating romaine lettuce until more is known about the contamination. Romaine lettuce is mostly eaten raw and washing it or any produce tainted with E. coli will not remove the harmful bacteria.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you're interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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