Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Associated with Leafy Greens; Romaine?

Romaine lettuce Coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Associated with Leafy Greens; Romaine?
Melissa Porter | 11 January, 2018, 21:54

Which is why, although Canadian officials urged consumers to avoid romaine lettuce, US health authorities have not yet identified which type of "leafy greens" had led to the spread of the illness.

Photo Canadian health officials linked an E. coli outbreak there to romaine lettuce, while American officials said "leafy greens" were likely to blame for illnesses in the United States. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states.

"Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale", the CDC said.

It says there have been no reports on the onset of illness since December 12. "Among the 18 ill people for whom CDC has information, nine were hospitalized, including one person in California who died". Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome because of an E. coli infection. CR said it's also important to remember it's not just the romaine found at the grocery store, but also what people may find in a cafeteria or restaurant. The Public Health Agency of Canada began advising people in the five implicated provinces to consider not eating romaine until further notice. Those samples are "closely related genetically" to the STEC O157:H7 strain from ill persons in Canada. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any type of particular food. Of 13 interviewed, all 13 said they ate leafy greens. Consumer Reports advised people to continue to avoid romaine lettuce. Forty-six percent reported eating romaine lettuce the week before they were interviewed.

"Based on these statements, both governments have concluded that the food responsible for this foodborne illness outbreak is no longer in the market".

Last week the CDC said it was eying leafy greens as the possible culprit and this week seem to be still looking for the source as the outbreak investigation continues.

"The industry associations are committed to working with government agencies in both the United States and Canada to assist with the ongoing investigations". Some companies (the fast food chain Wendy's and Compass-the country's largest food service company) have voluntarily withdrawn all romaine lettuce for the time being, though there is no indication that these companies were connected to the outbreak.