Consumer News/ Recalls -  Leafy greens and lettuce recall? (141 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJan-12 12:42 AM 
To: All  (1 of 3) 
 137818.1 

The deadly E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak in the United States that is associated with leafy greens and may be linked to romaine lettuce has been updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC, fifteen states, and the FDA are investigating the outbreak.

As of January 10, 2018, 24 people are sick. That’s an increase of seven illnesses since the initial report of the outbreak on December 28, 2017. The last reported illness started on December 12, 2017.

The case count by state is:  California (4), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Illnesses began on dates ranging from November 15, 2017 to December 12, 2017. Among the 18 ill persons who have been interviewed, nine were hospitalized, two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one person in California has died.

The report states that “The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill.” These products have a short shelf life. Officials say that since the last illness started almost a month ago, it’s likely that any contaminated leafy greens that are linked to this outbreak are no longer on the market.

Canada identified romaine lettuce as the source of illness there, but where the greens came from or where they were contaminated is unknown. Canada has also announced that they believe the outbreak in that country is over.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) has been conducted on bacterial samples taken from ill persons in the United States. Those samples are “closely related genetically” to the STEC O157:H7 strain from ill persons in Canada.

Officials say that WGS data alone “are not sufficient to prove a link.” Investigators also look at other data, including interviews from ill persons, to support that evidence.

Public health officials have interviewed 13 people about the foods they ate before they got sick. Of 13 interviewed, all 13 said they ate leafy greens. Five, or 56%, of nine ill persons said they ate romaine lettuce.

Unfortunately, that percentage is not significantly higher than the results from a survey of healthy people. Forty-six percent reported eating romaine lettuce the week before they were interviewed.

Based on that information, officials say that ill persons in this outbreak are not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce. In addition, patients said they ate different types and brands of romaine.

No common supplier distributor, or retailer of leafy greens has been identified as a possible source of this outbreak. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that U.S. residents avoid any type of particular food. Consumer Reports, however, is still saying to avoid romaine lettuce.

The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include diarrhea that is bloody or watery, and severe stomach and abdominal cramps. Illnesses usually begin three to four days after eating food contaminated with this bacteria. The symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, easy bruising, pale skin, lethargy, and a skin rash. If anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, they should be taken to a doctor immediately.

 

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  • Edited January 12, 2018 1:52 pm  by  Glen (GEAATL)
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJan-12 2:00 PM 
To: All  (2 of 3) 
 137818.2 in reply to 137818.1 

CDC Press release:

CDC, several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections (STEC O157:H7) in 13 states. Seventeen illnesses have been reported from California (3), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), Vermont (1) and Washington (1). Illnesses started on dates from November 15 through December 8, 2017. The Public Health Agency of Canada also is investigating an outbreak of STEC O157:H7 infections in several provinces.

Whole genome sequencing is being performed on samples of bacteria making people sick in the United States to give us information about whether these illnesses are related to the illnesses in Canada. Preliminary results show that the type of E. coli making people sick in both countries is closely related genetically, meaning the ill people are more likely to share a common source of infection.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada. In the United States, state and local public health officials are interviewing sick people to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started. CDC is still collecting information to determine whether there is a food item in common among sick people, including leafy greens and romaine.

Because we have not identified a source of the infections, CDC is unable to recommend whether U.S. residents should avoid a particular food. This investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available.

 

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From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJan-12 2:07 PM 
To: All  (3 of 3) 
 137818.3 in reply to 137818.2 

The Canada problem may be over - see this from Public Health of Canada:

January 10, 2018 – Update

This notice is being updated to reflect that the outbreak appears to be over. The risk to Canadians has returned to low and the Public Health Agency of Canada is no longer advising individuals in affected provinces to consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce. 

Why should you take note?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157, commonly called E. coli. The outbreak involves five eastern provinces. Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to romaine lettuce has been identified as the source of the outbreak, but the cause of contamination has not been identified. No individuals have had illness onset dates beyond December 12, 2017. As a result, the outbreak appears to be over, and the risk to Canadians has returned to low.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has completed its food safety investigation. All samples tested were negative for E. coli O157.

Although the outbreak appears to be over, the Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians to always follow safe food handling tips for preparing lettuce. Individuals in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador are no longer advised to consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce.

The investigation into the possible source of the contaminated product remains active in the United States. This public health notice will be updated if there is any new information about the source of contamination or when the investigation closes.

How does lettuce become contaminated with E. coli?

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. A common source of E. coli illness is raw fruits and vegetables that have come in contact with feces from infected animals. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, can become contaminated in the field by soil, contaminated water, animals or improperly composted manure. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest from handling, storing and transporting the produce. Contamination in lettuce is also possible 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. Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans, but some varieties cause illness.

Investigation summary

As of January 10, 2018, there were 42 cases of E. coli O157 illness reported in five eastern provinces: Ontario (8), Quebec (15), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). Individuals became sick in November and early December 2017. Seventeen individuals were hospitalized. One individual died. Individuals who became ill were between the ages of 3 and 85 years of age. The majority of cases (74%) were female. There is no evidence to suggest that provinces in western Canada were affected by this outbreak.

Most of the individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. Individuals repo
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  • Edited January 12, 2018 2:36 pm  by  Glen (GEAATL)
 

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