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illnesses linked to romaine lettuce continue to be reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada. These illnesses indicate that contaminated romaine lettuce may still be on the market (including in restaurants, grocery stores and any establishments that serve food). At this time, the investigation evidence suggests that there continues to be a risk of E. coli infections associated with the consumption of romaine lettuce.

Although anyone can get an E. coli infection,  pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications. This is especially true for this outbreak strain of E. coli (O157) which is more likely to cause severe illness than other E. coli strains in Canada.

It is difficult to know whether a product is contaminated with E. coli because you can't see, smell or taste it. Romaine lettuce can have a shelf life of up to five weeks; therefore it is possible that contaminated romaine lettuce purchased over the past few weeks may still be in your home. Individuals in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador should consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce, until more is known about the outbreak and the cause of contamination.

If you do choose to eat romaine lettuce, the following food handling tips can help to reduce the risk of an E.coli infection, but they will not fully eliminate the risk of illness.

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, before and after handling lettuce.
Unwashed lettuce, including whole heads of lettuce sold in sealed bags, should be handled and washed using these steps:
Discard outer leaves of fresh lettuce.
Wash unpackaged lettuce under fresh, cool running water. There is no need to use anything other than water to wash lettuce. Washing it gently with water is as effective as using produce cleansers.
Keep rinsing your lettuce until all of the dirt has been washed away.
Don't soak lettuce in a sink full of water. It can become contaminated by bacteria in the sink.
Store lettuce in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Discard when leaves become wilted or brown.
Use warm water and soap to thoroughly wash all utensils, countertops, cutting boards and storage containers before and after handling lettuce to avoid cross-contamination.
Ready-to-eat lettuce products sold in sealed packages and labelled as washed, pre-washed or triple washed do not need to be washed again. These products should also be refrigerated and used before the expiration date.

source: Public Health Agency of Canada

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