Coli Outbreak is "Likely" Leafy Greens While Canada Declares Outbreak Over

Kenny Tucker
January 11, 2018

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.

In a January 8 letter to CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, DeLauro didn't mince words: "CDC's stunning lack of guidance to consumers regarding this outbreak is unconscionable".

Yesterday, the Public Health Agency of Canada declared that the recent Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce appears to be over.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said its outbreak investigation team is working with CDC and state and local officials to determine what ill people ate, where they bought it and the distribution chain - all with the goal of learning where these foods were produced, to see if there is any common food or point where the food might have become contaminated.

If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, especially after eating romaine lettuce, contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900.

Canadian health authorities first identified the lettuce link on December 11, then updated its warnings two additional times. If you are concerned that you have an E. coli infection, talk to your healthcare provider.

The CDC said the likely source of the USA outbreak appears to be leafy greens, but it is not recommending Americans avoid any particular food at this time.

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These seven new reports bring the total number of cases involving E. coli to 66 in the US and Canada, with two of those cases being deadly. The outbreak in late 2017 sickened almost 20 people in the USA and 40 in Canada.

While FDA has been largely silent about the outbreak while the investigation continues, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted about the outbreak this week.

And some companies are not waiting to act.

There is an outbreak in Canada that is linked to romaine lettuce.

While the cause of contamination has not been identified, there have been no illnesses beyond December 12, 2017, the agency says.

"To avoid any confusion and in an abundance of caution, we have temporarily removed romaine lettuce from our restaurants in the USA and Canada", said Heidi Schauer, Wendy's spokeswoman.

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