July 7, 2020

Taco Bell, KFC E. coli Outbreak In Canada Over

An E.coli outbreak linked to shredded lettuce served at Taco Bell and KFC restaurants in Canada appears to be over, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The outbreak included 30 people from Ontario and the eastern provinces of Canada known as the Maritimes.

E. coli O157 Outbreak HUS TennesseeIn New Brunswick, 7 people were sickened,  in Nova Scotia 10 and in Ontario 13. The last reported case was January 9.

The tainted lettuce, which included hearts of romaine, romaine/iceberg mixes, shredded and chopped iceberg and shredded and chopped romaine was distributed by FreshPoint Inc. to restaurants in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. FreshPoint issued a recall for the lettuce after the problem was discovered. Investigators were able to establish that the lettuce was grown in California, but unable to identify the grower.

“Investigations into outbreaks of food-borne illness can be complex. Since early January 2013, the Agency has been leading a committee to investigate these illnesses that includes public health and food safety experts from the CFIA, Health Canada and Provincial Health Authorities. The committee meets regularly to share and review the latest information and determine what actions should be taken to protect Canadians,” PHAC said in a statement released February 7.

E.coli symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea- which may be watery or bloody, vomiting, and, in some cases, a mild fever.  Between 5 to 10 percent of people with E.coli infections develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can cause kidney failure and death. Those most at risk are young children, seniors and pregnant women.

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