There is no danger from consuming romaine lettuce, health authorities say

Romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce

"Canada has identified the source as romaine lettuce", says Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports has not yet announced an end to it's warning.

Maryland and New Jersey now join California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, which all previously reported cases of illness.

Consumer Reports say you should also stay away from romaine lettuce served in a cafeteria or restaurant. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

This is about the same timing of an outbreak of E. coli in Canada, which health officials declared over on Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing, but CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any particular food at this time. Illness onsets among reported cases occurred in late Nov & early Dec, so the source of these cases likely is no longer on the market.

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"The Public Health Agency of Canada is no longer advising individuals in affected provinces to consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce", it said. The CDC says leafy greens are the likely source. Neither the CDC nor Canadian health officials have provided any information on where the romaine lettuce potentially involved in the illnesses was grown or processed, so for now, consumers should assume that any romaine lettuce, even when sold in bags and packages, could possibly be contaminated, Rogers said.

It says the likely source of the USA outbreak appears to be leafy greens but they haven't identified which type yet. Many of them were sickened weeks ago, and it can be hard to recall every food you consumed after so much time has passed, said Ian Williams, chief of the CDC's Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch. For STEC O157:H7 infections, this period can be two to three weeks.

The outbreak, which began in November a year ago, has been linked to 24 cases of people infected with E. coli and one death in California. Holidays can increase this delay.

The CDC suggest paying your doctor a visit if you are going through an episode of severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting or if you have a high fever. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.

By Dec. 28, there were more than 40 cases under investigation in Canada and one reported death.

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