Outbreak Of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce Leaves 16 Ill, Including 1 Case In Quebec
- An ongoing outbreak Of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce has left 16 people sick across Canada.
- The Public Health Agency is advising Canadians to throw away all romaine lettuce from a specific region of California.
- Get all the details below.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a Public Health Notice to Canadians in regard to romaine lettuce linked to an E. coli outbreak in Salinas, California. The Public Health Notice was issued on December 6, 2019, following the recall of Bonduelle brand salad products on November 22, 2019 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Since the Public Health Notice on the 6th, the CFIA has since issued another recall, this time for Fresh Express brand Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit. The second recall was issued on December 8, 2019, also due to the outbreak of human illness related to E. coli contamination.
The recall of the Fresh Express brand salad kits also came in conjunction with another Public Health Notice regarding the E. coli infections linked to this outbreak.
The Public Health Notice explains that "the outbreak appears to be ongoing, as recent illnesses continue to be reported to the PHAC."
In addition to the two salad kits that were recalled in the last two weeks, PHAC is also insisting that Canadians avoid any and all romaine lettuce that is from Salinas, California as well as any lettuce that is not marked with a label of origin.
The first Public Health Notice, issued on December 6, 2019, explains that there were two illnesses reported that were related to the U.S. outbreak of E. coli. Two days later, an Investigation Summary indicated that there were 16 confirmed cases of E. coli-related illness in Canada, including one case in Quebec, all linked to E. Coli O157.
The photo above shows the package of Fresh Express brand Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit that was recalled on December 8, 2019.
For full details, including Best Before Dates and Codes related to the recalled product above, head to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall page here.
Back on November 22, 2019, the CFIA also issued a recall for Bonduelle packed salad kits, like the one pictured below.
Again, the issue was a possible E. coli contamination. In addition to the Santa Fe Style Salad with Chicken, pictured above, the CFIA also recalled Bonduelle's Caesar Salad with Chicken and Bacon, Caesar Salad with Chicken and Bacon, and Cobb Salad with Turkey & Bacon.
The Canadian government is advising that Canadians avoid any and all romaine lettuce from Salinas, California.
The Public Health Agency advises Canadians with romaine lettuce at home to look for a label that indicates the growing region.
"If the packaging shows that it is from the Salinas, California growing region in the U.S., don’t eat it. Throw it away."
The agency also goes so far as to say, "if it isn’t labelled with a growing region, don’t eat it. Throw it away."
"If you don’t know whether the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix, sandwich or wrap contains romaine, don’t eat it. Throw it away."
And finally, "wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine lettuce was stored."
When shopping, avoid any romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing region in California and don't purchase any romaine lettuce that can't be confirmed as from another region.