Romaine Lettuce Is Not Safe To Eat Whatsoever, CDC Warns

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The health agency says that the investigation so far has led them to believe that the source of the outbreak is romaine lettuce, and because illnesses continue to be reported it is possible that contaminated produce is still in the market.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced the two cases Wednesday.

The blanket warning to nix all romaine until further notice is frustrating to hydroponic growers like Gotham Greens, which grows, harvests and packs a variety of lettuces, including romaine, in controlled greenhouses in NY and Chicago.

Loblaws, Canada's largest food retailer and the parent company of a number of grocery chains in B.C. including T&T Supermarket, Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills, says "out of an abundance of caution" it is recalling and removing romaine lettuce products from stores shelves across Canada. Some cases can become severe enough to pose life-threatening conditions, with the elderly, young and those with weakened immune systems particularly vulnerable.

Meanwhile in Canada 18 people have been taken ill, with the same strain of bacteria as the cause.

No deaths have been reported so far but 32 cases of food poisoning were reported across 11 states in the USA, with 13 people hospitalised and one patient developing a form of kidney failure.

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The Public Health Agency of Canada issued an public health notice Tuesday advising only individuals in Ontario and Quebec to avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

But the strain of E. coli found in the current outbreak has the same DNA fingerprint as the bacteria that sickened 25 people, and killed one, late a year ago, the CDC said. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.

News of another E. coli outbreak tied to leafy greens is "really disappointing" when proper tracing of last year's contamination, with the identical DNA footprint, might have prevented it, Sorscher said.

But unfortunately, that's not the case with the tainted romaine now wreaking havoc in the U.S. The CDC still has no idea where it came from or how long it will be before romaine is safe to eat again.

Most symptoms end within five to ten days. "It provides more transparency and traceability".

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