Was there E-coli in my salad?
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 that an outbreak of Shiga Toxin producing E. coli, has contaminated large shipments of romaine lettuce. Over 40 cases of the food born illness have been reported in Canada, while 18 people in over 15 states have reported sickness due to the E. coli infection.
E. coli infections have been reported in the following states:
Typically, Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria that lives inside of the intestines. For the most part E. coli is harmless and actually play a big role in creating a healthy intestinal tract. However, the type of E. coli stated above is identified as “pathogenic”, meaning that they cause illness. There are 3 different types of pathogenic E. coli:
- Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)
- Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC)
- Enterohemoorrhagic E. coli (EHEC)
After consuming one of these pathogenic bacteria, symptoms begin to arrive between 3-4 days on average after exposure but can take as long as 10 days to appear. Although most people get better within 5-7 days, the infection has the potential to be life-threatening. That’s why it’s important to identify symptoms right away, especially ingesting foods, such as the romaine lettuce described above.
Symptoms related to the “STEC” infection:
- Stomach cramps
- Diarrhea (Often bloody)
- Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
HUS only appears in 5-10% of people who have been diagnosed with the STEC infection but is life-threatening. A person who has developed HUS will notice that they’ve experienced decreased frequency of urinating, extreme drowsiness, and loss of pinkness in their cheeks and eyelids. This has the potential to lead to kidney failure so if any person(s) that experience these symptoms should be hospitalized immediately. Some individuals experience permanent damage or death as a result of this disease but most people recover in a few weeks thanks to modern medicine.
This international outbreak that has resulted in over 50 food-borne illnesses and 1 death. If you or a loved one have has experienced illness as a result of this infection and recall eating romaine lettuce, Contact the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson today to receive a free consultation!