E. Coli Outbreak in Ontario, Quebec Linked to Romaine Lettuce

E. Coli Outbreak in Ontario, Quebec Linked to Romaine Lettuce

But in Canada, the country's public health and food inspection agencies stopped short of insisting on its removal, despite it being linked to the illnesses of 18 people in Ontario and Quebec - of whom six required hospitalization.

While it can in cases be life-threatening, most people recover within a week.

Public Health Agency of Canada is urging everyone in Quebec and Ontario to throw away their romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak. Typical symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

DNA fingerprinting is performed on E. coli bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS).

"The caseloads are higher in the U.S.so it might suggest a little bit more of a severe response in the USA", he said.

Epidemiologic evidence from the United States and Canada indicates that romaine lettuce is a likely source of the outbreak.

The US Food and Drug Administration's Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the Associated Press his agency doesn't have enough information to ask suppliers for a recall. Stores and restaurants should not sell or serve it.

They say in Canada, exposure to romaine lettuce has been identified as a source of the outbreak, but the cause of contamination has not been identified.

Grocery giants Empire Company Ltd., Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Metro Inc. haven't waited for an official request though.

Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said Wednesday morning all romaine and products containing it were pulled from the grocer's shelves overnight.

Read the full public health notice at this link.

Individuals who became ill are between 5 and 93 years of age.

But unfortunately, that's not the case with the tainted romaine now wreaking havoc in the U.S. The CDC still has no idea where it came from or how long it will be before romaine is safe to eat again.

If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

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