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CDC: E.coli Outbreak Threat Likely Over Soon

CDC: E.coli Outbreak Threat Likely Over Soon

Health officials say the likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are seven new E. coli cases in the U.S.in an ongoing outbreak.

In a January 8 letter to CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, DeLauro didn't mince words: "CDC's stunning lack of guidance to consumers regarding this outbreak is unconscionable". In Canada there are 42 victims across five provinces.

The CDC said that six of the seven new cases occurred within the time frame of all the other reported incidents, between November 15 and December 8.

There has been one death and nine people have been hospitalized, including two with kidney failure, CNN reported. Some individuals may develop a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which can be life-threatening, although most people recover in a few weeks.

However, Consumer Reports is urging everyone to not eat romaine lettuce.

To view a larger version of this information graphic, please click on the image. The investigation is ongoing, but CDC is not recommending that US residents avoid any particular food at this time.

PHAC has issued an updated public health notice stating that the E. coli O157:H7 foodborne illness outbreak in Canada, which it said was associated with Romaine lettuce consumption, appears to be over. Of 13 interviewed, all 13 said they ate leafy greens.

Some stores, including the Sobeys grocery chain, pulled romaine lettuce products from its shelves. Canada has also announced that they believe the outbreak in that country is over.

CDC: E.coli Outbreak Threat Likely Over Soon

No recalls have been initiated, but some retailers and restaurants temporarily pulled romaine lettuce from shelves and menus.

An FDA spokesperson told Consumer Reports: "This work is ongoing". All food samples tested negative.

In response to these latest statements and developments, United Fresh released its own statement yesterday in response. "We say when in doubt, throw it out", Halloran said.

This does not sit well with DeLauro who asked Fitzgerald a series of questions, such as when the first E. coli infection was reported in the USA, when CDC began investigating the outbreak, and what is "CDC's justification for waiting nearly a month and a half before publicly confirming the outbreak?"

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.

Washing greens is a good idea, but won't necessarily get rid of risky E. coli, which can cling to nooks and crannies in the leaves, Rogers said.

Health officials, Behm said, take action when there is clear and convincing information linking illness to a contaminated food.

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