More illnesses linked to E. coli in leafy greens, possibly romaine lettuce

U.S. Officials Not Ready to Blame E. coli Outbreak on Lettuce

There's new information on the deadly E. coli outbreak that News 10 has been tracking that could be linked to romaine lettuce.

Consumer Reports warned last week that we should be avoiding romaine lettuce, but the Centers for Disease Control says it doesn't have enough data to support focusing only on romaine.

Consumer Reports issued a warning late last week about eating romaine.

Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, said it's unclear what steps FDA and CDC are taking in the wake of one of the most serious outbreaks that has occurred in the Trump administration. This percentage was not significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 46% reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were interviewed.

In the US, the CDC did not make any recommendations to the public about avoiding any foods in its initial December 28, 2017, media statement on the outbreak or in today's update.To date, only half of the USA victims have been interviewed by outbreak investigators. "For instance, if the equipment at a processing plant is contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, new product could become a source of further infections". Canadian health officials previously identified romaine lettuce as the cause of the outbreak there. Nine of those people have been hospitalized, two of whom are suffering from a form of kidney failure. There's no official government recall in the United States - yet.

To help prevent E. coli infection, wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing and eating food. Contamination is also possible at the grocery store, in the refrigerator, or from counters and cutting boards through cross-contamination with bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood.

In all, 42 people, from five provinces, became ill, according to Public Health Agency Canada. There has been one death in California, which was previously reported as connected to the outbreak. It's also important to avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea.

If you are concerned that you might have an E. coli infection, talk to your health care provider. While the lettuce that may have caused the illnesses is no longer on the market, we do not know where the products were sold, or where the leafy green was grown, harvested, or processed.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you're interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation. The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients.

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