May 9, 2018 11:05 pm
Updated: May 12, 2018 8:07 pm

E. coli in romaine lettuce makes 6 Canadians sick

Why Canadians are not being warned about romaine lettuce grown in Arizona.


Federal health officials say six Canadians have been stricken by a strain of E. coli that has a similar genetic fingerprint to romaine lettuce from the U.S. southwest that has already sickened 149 people in 29 states.

READ MORE: One dead in E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in the U.S.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says two of the six Canadians reported travelling to the U.S. before falling ill due to E. coli O157, three became infected in Canada and the remaining case is under investigation.

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The six Canadian illnesses were reported between late March and mid-April in four provinces — one each in British Columbia and Alberta and two each in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

One Canadian was hospitalized and no deaths have been reported in Canada.

READ MORE: E. coli outbreak: What Canadians should know about washing, eating lettuce

Two Canadians reported travelling to the U.S. before getting sick and eating romaine lettuce while they were there. The others ate romaine lettuce at home, or in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains, before their illnesses occurred.

The agency says if it is determined that contaminated romaine lettuce is in the Canadian market, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will recall the product as required.

READ MORE: Canada continues to monitor deadly E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona and California is no longer being produced and distributed, so the potential for exposure to contaminated lettuce is reduced.

At least 64 people have been hospitalized in the United States, including 17 with kidney failure. One death, previously reported, occurred in California.

— With files from The Associated Press 

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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