E. coli found on Romaine lettuce in Canada

Not again…. our food system shouldn’t give us food that is contaminated with invisible bits of human or animal feces. And even better if that feces didn’t harbor bacteria that makes us sick.

This is a story about Escherichia coli (A.K.A. E. coli) a family of bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. For the most part, these little guys are a healthy part of the intestinal tract – and microbiologists love working with affable versions of them in the lab. However, there are some rogue members of the group – namely, Shiga toxin–producing types of E. coli (STEC), which can cause a host of maladies, ranging from stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting to life-threatening complications. E. coli O157:H7, the serotype behind many of the food outbreaks we have in the United States and Canada, is one of these.

E. coli live in the guts of ruminant animals, like cattle, goats, sheep, deer, and elk. According to the CDC, the major source for human illnesses is cattle. The CDC writes:

“Infections start when you swallow STEC – in other words, when you get tiny (usually invisible) amounts of human or animal feces in your mouth. Unfortunately, this happens more often than we would like to think about.”

A lot of supermarkets are now withdrawing the romaine lettuce from the shelves…

What to do about this?

Grow your own organic Romaine Lettuce:

Or try the Red variant:

Know what the symptoms of E. Coli are.

Cook your greens

Washing your lettuce usually does not get id of E. Coli….

Be safe and check you fridge for Romaine lettuce!

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