new York – Health authorities in the United States and Canada have asked people on Tuesday not to eat Roman salad because of a new outbreak of E. coli.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was working with the Canadian authorities for the outbreak of the epidemic, which has killed 32 people in 11 states and 18 in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
The strain identified is different from that associated with another salmon outbreak that occurred a few months ago, but it appears to be similar to one associated with one of the leafy vegetables last year.
The FDA did not have enough information to ask manufacturers to remove their salad from the market, said agency agent Scott Gottlieb. But he added that supermarkets and restaurants should withdraw the products until identification of the contamination.
No deaths were reported, but 13 of the people who got sick in the United States are hospitalized. The last reported disease was on October 31.
Locating the contaminated salad may be difficult because it is often repackaged by intermediaries, "said Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the Center for Public Sciences. This may mean that the entire industry is involved in outbreaks, even if not all products are contaminated.
Washing salad does not guarantee it is safe, Sorscher said.
Most E. coli bacteria are benign, but some strains can cause disease, with symptoms such as severe stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Most people recover within a week, but some conditions may take longer and may be more severe.