Categorized | Product Safety

Canadian E. coli outbreak linked to California-grown lettuce

Food Safety News (1/16, Goetz) reports, “Another two cases of E. coli O157: H7 have been linked to lettuce (sold at fast-food restaurants including) KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King and Pizza Hut” in Canada, bringing the total number of related illnesses to 28. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the two new cases occurred in Ontario. The CFIA said the cases linked to the outbreak occurred between late December and early January and, that at present, the majority of patients have recovered or are recovering. Food Safety News notes that a list of the lettuce products under recall, which were grown in California and distributed by Freshpoint Toronto, is available on the CFIA website.

Separately, Food Safety News (1/16, Flynn) says that in “explaining how that lettuce contaminated with E. coli O157: H7 came across the border from the US, CFIA now points to how involvement in the Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (LGMA) is a quick ticket across the international border for California-grown lettuce.” The agency said that because the “115 California leafy green producers submit to a mandatory food safety program, they can check ‘Box 22’ on their Confirmation of Sale’s (COS) document and enter Canada almost without slowing down.” Food Safety News points out the current E. coli outbreak “marks the second time in two years that California-grown lettuce served in Canadian restaurants has been responsible for a foodborne illness outbreak.”

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