The CDC's investigation has not identified a specific type, brand, or producer of romaine or any other leafy greens, which Wise says has made it hard to home in on a source.
Federal health officials reported seven additional cases of E. coli illness Wednesday in a deadly E. coli outbreak that has now struck 15 USA states. The outbreak has now been identified in 15 states.
"Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale", CDC said in a statement.
Illnesses began on dates ranging from November 15, 2017 to December 12, 2017. In the US, nine people were hospitalized due to the infection and two people were diagnosed with a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. "Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure".
Clusters of unrelated sick people who ate at the same restaurant, shopped at the same grocery store, or attended the same event. Consumers there are no longer being advised to avoid eating romaine lettuce.
The cases in the United States are the same strain as the cases in Canada and some of them have the same genetic fingerprint.
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Little transparency during outbreakNeither country released any information about produce growers, suppliers or any other entities in the farm-to-fork continuum in connection to the outbreak.
With the investigation ongoing the CDC is not recommending people avoid any particular food at this time. However, the CDC noted that people who got sick during this outbreak "were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce". Consumer Reports still warned against eating romaine.
"Without knowing exactly what caused this outbreak, we risk seeing a new batch of tainted product come onto the market", he said.
The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) highlighted that the vegetable industry associations are working with government agencies to help with research. Food safety advocates there "continue to think it prudent to avoid romaine lettuce for now", according to Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union.
When a foodborne disease outbreak is detected, public health and regulatory officials work quickly to collect as much information as possible to find out what is causing it, so they can take action to prevent more people from getting sick.