October 25, 2016

E. coli Outbreak in Canada Associated with Leafy Greens

The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with leafy greens has been taking place in the country. Illness onset dates ranged from March 13 to March 31, 2015. The investigation concluded on May 12, 2015.

lettuce-arsThe outbreak is now considered over. A specific source of the pathogenic bacteria could not be confirmed, but leafy greens are possible.

There were a total of 13 cases with a matching genetic fingerprint. The case count by province is: Alberta (10), Saskatchewan (1), Ontario (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).

And the report ends with advice about safe food handling. All raw fruits and vegetables should be washed under running water before you eat them or cut them. Raw fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with E. coli in the field, though improperly composted manure, contaminated water, wildlife, and improper handling.

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