The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced seven new cases of E. coli infections, all of which seem to linked to leafy greens, in their ongoing investigation of the recent deadly outbreak.
This does not sit well with DeLauro who asked Fitzgerald a series of questions, such as when the first E. coli infection was reported in the USA, when CDC began investigating the outbreak, and what is "CDC's justification for waiting nearly a month and a half before publicly confirming the outbreak?"
The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill. The CDC says there are 7 new cases of E. coli in an outbreak that's struck 15 states - including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that "no individual has become ill after December 12, 2017".
The cases in the United States are the same strain as the cases in Canada, and some of them have the same genetic fingerprint. Of 13 interviewed, all 13 said they ate leafy greens. The outbreak in late 2017 sickened almost 20 people in the US and 40 in Canada.
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The outbreak is responsible for 66 infections and two deaths in the two countries.
Still, the agency said it does not have enough information to recommend people in the USA avoid a particular food.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued its first announcement about an E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on December 11. Holidays can increase this delay. However, in the United States, state and federal agencies stopped short of making that declaration, stating that the investigation is ongoing.
Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, said it's unclear what steps FDA and CDC are taking in the wake of one of the most serious outbreaks that has occurred in the Trump administration. This strain of E. coli can not be neutralized by washing, only by cooking, so if you have any, grill it till it's crispy or toss it. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ.
You can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food. She said it's still unclear whether FDA is intensifying testing of US and imported products in the wake of Canada's findings. It urged the public to avoid eating romaine lettuce until more is known about the contamination.