Medical

Coli outbreak steps lag U.S. because of caseloads

Coli outbreak steps lag U.S. because of caseloads

"If inspectors observe romaine being sold, they will order the establishment to dispose of the product", Health Department spokesman Michael Lanza said.

That was a "point of frustration" then, said Warriner, because it left retailers and restaurants uncertain about whether to pull romaine lettuce from their shelves - something many ended up doing anyway. The Public Health Agency of Canada says there have been 18 confirmed cases of E. Coli illness investigated in Ontario and Quebec, as of November 20.

The blanket warning to nix all romaine until further notice is frustrating to hydroponic growers like Gotham Greens, which grows, harvests and packs a variety of lettuces, including romaine, in controlled greenhouses in NY and Chicago. The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement claiming they're making an effort to test romaine for contamination all across the U.S.

The feds say you should not buy, serve, or eat romaine lettuce until further notice.

They continued by saying that laboratory analysis has indicated that the illnesses reported in this outbreak are "genetically related" to illnesses reported in an outbreak of E coli in December 2017, which affected both Canada and the U.S.




The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA 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.

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

Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157 infections. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified. Most cases are mild, so don't panic. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, can become contaminated in the field by soil, water, animals or improperly composted manure. He also admitted that financial losses associated with recalling the lettuce from all store shelves would be significant. They also don't get mixed with lettuce from other farms when being processed and packaged, so they are easily traceable. But the current alert doesn't differentiate between where or how romaine is grown, so retailers and restaurants will have to dump Gotham's romaine even though its internal testing shows no E. coli contamination in its facilities.

"I think that the issue isn't that there's more unsafe food", Gottlieb said.

Most symptoms end within five to ten days.


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