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E. coli outbreak ends for Canada


December 31, 2018
By Greenhouse Canada

Residents in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick no longer need to avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce, says the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Since the last confirmed count of 29 E. coli illnesses in mid-November, no new cases have been reported. 

Romaine lettuce harvested in California was identified as a major source of the outbreak. “It has been determined that romaine lettuce grown in Canada, including hydroponic romaine lettuce and romaine lettuce grown in greenhouses, is not associated with this outbreak,” notes PHAC.

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While the US investigation is ongoing, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will continue to bar imports of romaine lettuce from affected California growing regions.

This marks the third E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in the past year. Laboratory tests have confirmed that it is caused by the same strain of E. coli from a previous outbreak in December 2017, suggesting an identical source of contamination.

Between mid-October and mid-November 2018, there were 29 confirmed cases of E. coli illnesses – five in Ontario, 20 in Quebec, one in New Brunswick, as well as three in British Columbia that were related to travel to Quebec, Ontario and the US. Ten individuals were hospitalized, and most became sick after eating romaine lettuce at home, from grocery stores, or at restaurants.