Ottawa Public Health reports 2nd case of E. coli

FDA thinks they know where tainted romaine likely came from

Nearly 1/3 of People Sickened in Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce Live in L.A. County

But the culprit strain of E. coli has the same genetic fingerprint of the bacteria behind a rash of food-borne illnesses reported during fall 2017 in Canada and in January in 15 US states, where it killed one person and sickened two dozen others, the CDC said.

With so many outbreaks, I don't know who would still want to have romaine lettuce in the near future. The CDC advised against eating "any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes with romaine until we learn more", adding that you should definitely chuck it if there is any uncertainty.

The current outbreak has the same DNA markers as the E. coli strain in November and December 2017 connected to leafy greens in the United States and romaine lettuce in Canada.

Romaine's increased susceptibility comes down to several factors, he said.

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"CDC continues to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to romaine lettuce".

Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.

Finally, washing lettuce at home doesn't do anything, said Warriner, and "more likely re-contaminates than de-contaminates it". It doesn't help that both states are quite hot and romaine lettuce already requires an abundance of water, he said.

Officials from the United States Food and Drug Administration have determined that the romaine lettuce potentially contaminated with E. coli was likely harvested in California.

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Sobeys and Loblaw have recalled and removed all romaine lettuce products from their store shelves, while the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia says most restaurants in the province have temporarily removed romaine lettuce from their menus.

The centralized production also means if an outbreak occurs, it becomes widespread as the product is sent all over Canada and the US, he said. Individuals who became ill are between 5 and 93 years of age.

Canada explains it this way: "E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry, and other animals".

Redfield said that authorities are continuing to investigate, and emphasized the need for consumers to throw out all Romaine lettuce, saying there are "no exceptions".

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The cause of contamination was never identified in that outbreak although romaine lettuce was eaten by many patients before they got sick.

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