Photo: The Canadian Press The Canadian Food Inspectorate has tested more than 2,000 samples of fresh salad and packed salads…
Photo: The Canadian Press
The Canadian Food Inspectorate has tested more than 2,000 samples of fresh salad and packed salads but it has not found products containing the bacteria in the search for the source of an E. coli eruption.
Aline Dimitri, the Authority’s Deputy Chief Food Safety Director, said Friday that the results did not mean that E. coli is away from Canada’s food supply. They suggest if it’s present, it’s at very low levels, she said.
Three additional cases of E. coli were confirmed in Ontario and Quebec on Friday, which meant the total since mid October to 22 in New Brunswick, four in Ontario and 1
7 in Quebec.
Eight patients were hospitalized and developed a type of renal failure most commonly found in patients with E. coli. The youngest patient is five and oldest 93 years.
Many people get sick in most outbreaks never seek medical attention so the number of cases is never known, “said Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Chief Consultant.  He said that experts who trace the patients’ math stories found that most patients who became ill had eaten Roman salad in the days leading to their disease.
Tracking a person’s math history means interviewing them about what they ate and where, Njoo said. 19659003] He also said that it is about getting things like the grocery loyalty card to confirm what was specifically purchased and when.
The agency recommends people in these provinces not to eat Roman lettuce and throw out something that they still have in their refrigerators. It stays short of recall romaine salad or tells dealers to pull it from their shelves.
Njoo said evidence right now does not connect the outbreak of any particular product but if it changes, the Canadian warnings can also. Several dealers have volunteered to give Romaine from their shelves in the meantime.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issue a much wider warning on Tuesday saying that Americans should not eat Romaine somewhere in the United States and restaurants should stop serving it.
It also said that dealers should pull it from their shelves.
There are now 32 confirmed cases of E. coli in 11 states and on Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration said the Romans were likely to come from California because of growing and harvesting patterns.
Canadian companies can make their own assessment of whether to continue selling Romaine, Dimitri said Friday.
Njoo also said that the latest disease began on November 1 but a delay in reporting meant the agency did not find it until this week.
Romain’s sustainability is four to five weeks, he said adding this why the agency still warns people to throw lettuce away.
This is at least the third outbreak of E. coli linked to green leaves in the US and Canada over the past two years.
The current outbreak has the same DNA markers as the E. coli strain in November and December 2017 linked to Green Leaves in the United States and Romaine Salad in Canada.
In this outbreak 42 cases of E. coli were reported in Canada, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Seventeen people were in hospital and one person died.
The cause of the contamination was never identified in the outbreak, although Roman lettuce was eaten by many patients before becoming ill.
Earlier this year, about 200 people in 35 US states fell ill with E. coli linked to Romarin Salmon grown in Arizona but that strain of E. coli is different from that seen in the outbreak this fall.