E. coli O157:H7 outbreak links point to lettuce

Two local health units said today that lettuce – specifically Romaine lettuce –was the common factor in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to food service operations in four southern Ontario towns that has sickened 130 people.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency responded by saying,

“Canadians are reminded that the best way to prevent foodborne illness is by handling their food safely. … Canadians can also refer to CFIA’s detailed four point plan to prevent E. coli in the home.”

All of the people got sick at restaurants or cafeterias – not in their homes. And contamination of lettuce and other fresh produce needs to be prevented on the farm – there is little consumers or food service can do when contaminated product arrives.