Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

E. Coli-Tainted Romaine Lettuce Linked To Infected Irrigation Canal

E. Coli-Tainted Romaine Lettuce Linked To Infected Irrigation Canal

Both the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that the Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with Romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ, growing region is now officially over, but the source of the outbreak has yet to be identified.

They previously connected the illnesses with romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which supplies most of the romaine sold in the US during the winter, the Associated Press reported.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the outbreak has ended but work needs to be done to determine how and why this strain of E. coli got into the canals in Yuma, and how that led to contamination of lettuce from multiple farms.

This has been the nation's largest E.Coli outbreak in more than a decade. Consumers were advised to avoid all romaine lettuce that came from that area. California had the most reported cases, 49.

In 2006, almost 200 people were sickened by tainted spinach in 26 states; a single California produce company was at the center of that outbreak.

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They are still investigating how the bacteria got into the canal. And yes, the romaine lettuce you buy at the store or pile on your plate at the salad bar now is safe to eat.

Bill Marler, a prominent food-safety lawyer who represents 105 patients sickened by the lettuce, said he was not surprised that the probable link was broad environmental contamination, such as by water, given the number of people sickened and the number of unnamed farms and fields implicated. And worse, 27 people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The vaccine was field-tested near the end of the major 2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, The New York Times reported. The greater part of the general population became ill in March and April, yet new sicknesses were accounted for as of late as early this month.

(PHAC) identified eight ill people in several Canadian provinces infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7.

Most people recover within one week.

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