Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Coli Outbreak From Salad Grows As CDC Reports 24 People Infected

Outbreak of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce ‘Appears To Be Over Outbreak of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce ‘Appears To Be Over
Marlene Weaver | 11 January, 2018, 21:52

All the sick individuals began feeling ill between November 15 and December 12.

Little transparency during outbreakNeither country released any information about produce growers, suppliers or any other entities in the farm-to-fork continuum in connection to the outbreak.

Boston Pizza International Inc. also temporarily suspended the sale of all types of romaine lettuce at the pizza joint's locations in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada as of December 26. Sometimes outbreaks end before enough information is gathered to identify the likely source. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, reported the Centers for Control and Prevention of Diseases.

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".

No recalls have been initiated, but some retailers and restaurants temporarily pulled romaine lettuce from shelves and menus. However, the CDC noted that people who got sick during this outbreak "were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce".

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it has completed its food safety investigation and all samples tested were negative for E. coli. The CDC, fifteen states, and the FDA are investigating the outbreak.

Listeria concerns prompt recall of dessert bars sold in many supermarkets
Customers who have purchased the products should discard them and bring their purchase receipt to Giant for a full refund. Fieldbrook Foods is working with each of these retailers to recall the affected products, the FDA said.

Industry, watchdog reactionsThe statements today spurred very different reactions from produce industry groups and consumer advocates.

Jean Halloran, a Consumer Reports food policy expert said, "We think it's important to avoid eating romaine until the cause of this outbreak is determined".

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

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) highlighted that the vegetable industry associations are working with government agencies to help with research.

However, neither Canadian authorities nor the CDC have even been able to figure out exactly how people were getting sick; some people ate prepared salads at restaurants, while others likely got sick eating lettuce at home.

"This is a risky strain of E. coli that can cause severe illness and even death", said Halloran's statement.

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