Dangers of E Coli in Romaine Lettuce Outbreak in Canada and USA

DANGERS OF E COLI IN ROMAINE LETTUCE OUTBREAK

There are outbreaks of contaminated romaine lettuce with E. Coli in Ontario, Quebec, and in 11 states of United States of America. This strain E. Coli O157, is more dangerous than others.

 

Dangers of E Coli outbreak in USA and Canada

That is why the Public Health Agency of Canada and the CDC of United States have told consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they may already have purchased. Restaurants should not serve it, stores should not sell it, and people should not buy it, no matter where or when the lettuce was grown. It doesn’t matter if it is chopped, whole head or part of a mix.

Dangers of E Coli in Romaine Lettuce Outbreak in Canada and USA 1

Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection:

  • Symptoms usually begin 2 to 5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Sometimes people infected with E. coli O157 have no symptoms at all, but can still pass the bacteria to others.

  • Severe diarrhea (often bloody)

  • Abdominal cramps.

  • Most people infected with E. coli O157 do not have a fever or vomiting.

  • Children under 5 years old and the elderly, E. coli O157 infections can cause a complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). About 2 – 7% of E. coli O157 infections lead to HUS. HUS occurs when the E. coli O157 toxin destroys red blood cells. HUS can lead to kidney failure, neurologic damage, and in some cases, death. Approximately 5 – 10% of HUS cases are fatal.

Dangers of E Coli in Romaine Lettuce Outbreak in Canada and USA 2

 

E. coli is a bacteria that lives naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. Raw fruits and vegetables can become contaminated with feces from infected animals in the field by soil, water, animals or improperly composted manure. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest from handling, storing and transporting the produce, including at the grocery store, in the refrigerator, or from counters and cutting boards through cross‑contamination with harmful bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood.

5 thoughts on “Dangers of E Coli in Romaine Lettuce Outbreak in Canada and USA

  1. lindasschaub November 20, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Very scary – this came as a “breaking news story” this afternoon. I’ve not had romaine lettuce in two years. They say if it is not from Arizona you’re okay, but why chance it?

  2. lindasschaub November 20, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Very scary – heard this as a breaking news alert this afternoon – supposedly only Arizona lettuce if contaminated, but I would be afraid to eat any romaine lettuce anymore and have not had it in two years.

  3. Dra Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD WMA FACS November 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Oh my, two years without eating lettuce. I grow my own, Linda, that way I´m sure it is ok, free from bacteria and toxic chemicals. I don’t buy them either. Can you start to grow your own?

  4. Adalrick Harrisburg, MD November 20, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    I guess I won’t have my favorite romaine salad this thanksgiving day, with tomato lots of avocado and cilantro.

    • Dra Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD WMA FACS December 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      You can have it, Doc., just disinfect it.

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