Massive romaine lettuce recall linked to California

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Two families - one in British Columbia (who had been in California the week before) and one in NY (woman developed HUS and was in ICU for weeks) - reported romaine consumption and a positive test for Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7).

The current outbreak is not related to the recent multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to romaine lettuce in the spring of 2018.

CTV News found out about the first case earlier this week.

Three more cases of E. coli were confirmed in Ontario and Quebec on Friday, bringing the total number since mid-October to 22: one in New Brunswick, four in Ontario and 17 in Quebec.

So far no cases have been reported in Texas or any surrounding states.

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On Thanksgiving Day, he tweeted that his agency is still working to figure out the source of the outbreak, which has left almost three dozen people sickened, including 13 who have been hospitalized. There have been no deaths reported.

Now, the Center for Disease and Control has released a warning that people shouldn't be eating Romaine lettuce any time soon. But he suggested that supermarkets and restaurants withdraw their romaine lettuce until the source of the contamination can be identified.

Epidemiological evidence from both the United States and Canada indicates that romaine lettuce is a likely source of all 54 Illnesses in the global outbreak.

There has been a second case of food poisoning in Ottawa linked to contaminated romaine lettuce.

It is stopping short of recalling romaine lettuce or telling retailers to pull it from their shelves. No one has pinpointed the source of the E. coli bacteria and no one knows why romaine, in particular, is affected. The symptoms most people experience are severe stomach cramps, diarrhea that may contain blood, vomiting and sometimes a fever.

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Scott Horsfall, the CEO of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, said most of the romaine on the market when the outbreak began was grown in his state.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC traced the origin of that contamination to irrigation water in the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

Tracing the source of contaminated lettuce can be hard because it's often repackaged by middlemen, said Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The outbreak is a blow to the agriculture industry, both nationally and locally.

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