August 20, 2019

In Canada, 26 Cases of E. coli 0157:H7 Associated with KFC and Taco Bell

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak that has now sickened at least 26 people. The outbreak is located in the Maritimes and Ontario and is associated with shredded lettuce produced by Freshpoint Inc. and sold at KFC and KFC-Taco Bell restaurants. The lettuce was not distributed to grocery stores.

E coliA recall has been announced. The source of contamination has not been determined. The lettuce originally came from California. U.S. officials have been notified of this outbreak. Public health officials are investigating to see if food safety controls were followed at each step along the production and supply chain.

So far, there are six cases of E. coli 0157:H7 in New Brunswick, ten cases in Nova Scotia, and ten cases in Ontario. Most of those sickened have recovered or are recovering. There may be more cases of illness identified as the investigation continues. The reported illnesses occurred between late December and early January.

The public can help government officials take control of this outbreak. If you are suffering symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7, such as severe stomach cramps, watery and/or bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, see your doctor immediately. And stay home when you are sick. About 5-10% of those who contract this infection develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and can be fatal. Thorough hand washing is the best way to prevent person-to-person spread of this illness. And follow general food safety rules and precautions at all times.

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