USA issues health alert on romaine lettuce

USA issues health alert on romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak prompts warning for areas of Canada, entire USA .

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections.

"If you don't know if it's romaine or can't confirm the source, don't eat it".

On Tuesday, the US CDC said that the romaine lettuce-linked food poisoning outbreak was due to the E. coli bacteria.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea which is often bloody, and vomiting, said the CDC.

Most symptoms end within five to ten days.

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It can take a week for symptoms to appear in some cases and by then, asking someone to recall everything they ate the week before might be hard and thus, impact a health agency's comfort in taking action against a particular source of the outbreak, Neumann said.

"Contaminated romaine lettuce may still be on the market, including in restaurants, grocery stores and any establishments that serve food", according to PHAC.

Health Canada says don't eat romaine until more is known about the outbreak and the cause of contamination. On Wednesday, they said they were temporarily taking hundreds of products containing the vegetable off shelves at thousands of grocery stores that they own.

Chan added that most of Canada's romaine lettuce is imported from the US because Canada's growing season ended in August. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States believes the source of the outbreak is romaine lettuce, and has warned businesses and consumers not to use or eat the leaf until the affected batch has been tracked down.

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