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Two More Ill in Canadian E. coli Outbreak

Another two cases of E. coli O157:H7 have been linked to lettuce sold at fast food locations in Canada, bringing the total number of illnesses related to this food to 28.

Both new cases occurred in Ontario, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Monday. The patients fell ill between late December and early January.

The latest illness linked to this outbreak began January 5, while the earliest case began December 22, 2012.

There are 6 cases in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and 12 in Ontario.

“The majority of cases have recovered or are recovering,” said CFIA in its health advisory.

The lettuce suspected to be the source of the contamination was grown in California and distributed by Freshpoint Toronto to retail locations in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Fast food chains known to have received the product include KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King and Pizza Hut.

The lettuce was sold in shredded form, but mixed into other product, and was also served in salads and mixed vegetable packs.

Despite the precautionary recall, CFIA says the contaminated produce is probably no longer on the market.

“Lettuce has a short shelf life, therefore contaminated products are unlikely to still be available,” notes CFIA.

A full list of recalled products is available on the agency’s website.

CFIA says it has traced the lettuce to its source in California, but how the lettuce became contaminated remains unclear.

 

 

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