Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Coli outbreak in US: Likely source is leafy greens

Coli outbreak in US: Likely source is leafy greens

While the outbreak does appear to be associated with leafy greens, according to CDC and FDA statements released yesterday, USA health officials have not confirmed a specific type, nor have any food recalls been issued. Consumer Reports recommended that consumers avoid romaine lettuce until the outbreak cause was determined.

Maryland and New Jersey now join California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, which all previously reported cases of illness.

However, James E. Rogers, Ph.D., Director of Food Safety Research and Testing at Consumer Reports, cautions that the CDC's position on this could give consumers a false sense of security. In the United States, however, health officials are continuing to investigate an outbreak of 24 STEC O157:H7 infections in 15 states. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any type of particular food.

Although the most recent illness started on December 12, there is a delay between when someone gets sick and when the illness is reported to CDC.

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Over the past seven weeks, 59 people in the US and Canada have become ill from a unsafe strain of E. coli, likely from eating romaine lettuce.

No common supplier distributor, or retailer of leafy greens has been identified as a possible source of this outbreak.

But U.S. health authorities have said it's too early to blame leafy greens as the probe continues.

No individuals have illness onset dates after 12 December so the outbreak appears to be over.

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It says the likely source of the USA outbreak appears to be leafy greens but they haven't identified which type yet.

The outbreak is responsible for 66 infections and two deaths in the two countries. Because of these reporting delays, more time is needed before CDC can say the outbreak in the United Stated is over. Many of them were sickened weeks ago, and it can be hard to recall every food you consumed after so much time has passed, said Ian Williams, chief of the CDC's Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch. Holidays can increase this delay.

If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900. They include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The symptoms typically start one to three days after eating a contaminated food, but may occur as late as 10 days afterward. "The bacteria can also be transmitted if a person who is carrying the bacteria doesn't wash his or her hands after using the bathroom and then processes or prepares food".

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