Health Canada has just issued a warning to residents of Ontario and Quebec to stop consuming romaine lettuce.

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TL;DR Romaine lettuce has been linked to an E. coli outbreak in the U.S. and Canada. An investigation is ongoing. In the meantime, Health Canada is warning people in Ontario and Quebec to stop eating the lettuce. Scroll down for a list of symptoms of an E. coli infection.

The reason: an outbreak of E. coli that has produced dozens of cases of illness in the United States and Canada.

"There have been 18 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario (3) and Quebec (15)," according to the press release.

Because the investigation is ongoing and no single brand has been identified as a carrier, the health agency is telling individuals to "avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce until more is known about the outbreak."

E. coli is a bacteria found in the intestines of cattle but can spread to produce that has come into contact with their feces, the press release explains.

Symptoms of an infection in humans include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • mild fever
  • severe stomach cramps
  • watery or bloody diarrhea

The current strain is expecially pernicious and is "more likely than other strains to cause severe illness. Pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications," states Health Canada.

The CDC in the United States has also issued a warning to American citizens:

If you think you may have an E. coli infection, contact your doctor immediately. To learn more about E. coli and its risks, review this page. To learn more about the current romaine lettuce warning, read this.


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