Coli Outbreak is "Likely" Leafy Greens While Canada Declares Outbreak Over

Coli Outbreak is

Nine of those people have been hospitalized, two of whom are suffering from a form of kidney failure.

"Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale", the agency said. CR said it's also important to remember it's not just the romaine found at the grocery store, but also what people may find in a cafeteria or restaurant.

While the outbreak does appear to be associated with leafy greens, according to CDC and FDA statements released yesterday, USA health officials have not confirmed a specific type, nor have any food recalls been issued.

The cases in the United States are the same strain as the cases in Canada and some of them have the same genetic fingerprint.

Which is why, although Canadian officials urged consumers to avoid romaine lettuce, US health authorities have not yet identified which type of "leafy greens" had led to the spread of the illness. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states. Canada has also announced that they believe the outbreak in that country is over.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), a microbiologist, affirmed DeLauro's sentiments in a statement to Consumer Reports: "The delay in CDC or FDA providing updated information to consumers is very disappointing.Timely information is critical to avoid potentially contaminated foods and I call on FDA to take all necessary steps to protect public health". Of 13 interviewed, all 13 said they ate leafy greens.

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In Canada, health officials said romaine lettuce is now safe to eat.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency - which is similar to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - tested samples of romaine lettuce as part of the outbreak investigation. Consumer Reports still warned against eating romaine.

"In collaboration with our association colleagues we'd like to share the following update to last week's communications regarding the E. coli O157:H7 foodborne illness outbreak that has impacted many (of our) members", the produce groups' release said.

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) highlighted that the vegetable industry associations are working with government agencies to help with research.

There is a very different view at Consumers Union, which is the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports. Canadian health officials previously identified romaine lettuce as the cause of the outbreak there.

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