Medicine

E. coli outbreak may be linked to romaine lettuce

E. coli outbreak may be linked to romaine lettuce

The Center for Disease Control is investigating an E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce that has sickened at least 58 people in the US and Canada.

In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said investigators are still interviewing people who fell ill in 13 states, including MI, to see if there's a common thread.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have yet to determine the cause of the outbreak in the US, but Canadian health officials have determined romaine lettuce as the source of the 41 outbreaks of E. coli throughout Canada's eastern provinces.

The Public Health Agency in Canada has also reported cases of e. Coli outbreaks in several provinces.

Even though the CDC hasn't confirmed a link with romaine lettuce, Consumer Reports is still recommending that people stop eating it until the cause of the outbreak is determined.

The infections are thought to be tied to leafy greens, mainly romaine lettuce.

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Thorough cooking usually kills foodborne bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella, but lettuce is not usually cooked.

The U.S. cases were reported beginning November 15 to December 8. The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported on 41 illnesses and say the cases are related to romaine lettuce.

CDC officials have said that because they have not identified a source they are unable to recommend whether residents should avoid a particular food.

Consumer Reports is now calling on the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC to do more to warn the public about the dangers of the outbreak.

"The available data strongly suggest that romaine lettuce is the source of the USA outbreak". "While anyone can get sick if they are infected with this strain of E. coli, young children, the elderly, and anyone who has a condition that weakens the immune system, such as cancer or diabetes, are at a greater risk", says James Rogers, Consumer Report's director of food safety and research. But there are a few forms that can cause diseases. The most unsafe effect is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.


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