Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Department of Commerce speaks on E. coli linked to romaine lettuce

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The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is aware of the outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce in the United States and Canada. As of November 20, 2018, there have been 32 confirmed cases of E. coli illnesses in the United States and 18 confirmed cases in Canada.

The United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centre for Disease Control, are coordinating with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in investigating this outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in the United States and Canada.

People infected with E. coli can have a wide range of symptoms appear within one to ten days after contact with the bacteria. These symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, headache, mild fever, severe stomach cramps and watery or bloody diarrhoea.

Although some persons may not get sick at all, they can still spread the infection to others. Others may feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach, and, in some cases, individuals may become seriously ill and must be hospitalised.

Most symptoms end within five to ten days. There is no real treatment for E. coli infections, other than monitoring the illness, providing comfort, and preventing dehydration through proper hydration and nutrition. People who develop complications may need further treatment, like dialysis for kidney failure. You should contact your health care provider if symptoms persist.

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is recommending that consumers avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce until more information on the source of the contamination and the status of the outbreak can be determined. (BGIS)

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