Health Canada has just issued a warning to residents of Ontario,Newfoundland and Labrador,Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia,Manitoba to stop consuming romaine lettuce.
The reason: an outbreak of E. coli that has produced dozens of cases of illness in the United States and Canada.
“There have been 180 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated across Canada ” according to the press release.
Because the investigation is ongoing and no single brand has been identified as a carrier, the health agency is telling individuals to “avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce until more is known about the outbreak.”
E. coli is a bacteria found in the intestinesof cattle but can spread to produce that has come into contact with their feces, the press release explains.
Symptoms of an infection in humans include:
- mild fever
- severe stomach cramps
- watery or bloody diarrhea
The current strain is expecially perniciousand is “more likely than other strains to cause severe illness. Pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications,” states Health Canada.