The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued yet another statement advising Canadians to refrain from eating romaine lettuce in Ontario and Quebec in light of a new E. coli outbreak. This is the third E. coli outbreak in North America in the past year.
Currently, researchers at Western University in London, Ont. say their testing kit can detect a particularly severe strain of E. coli bacteria within hours, rather than the days or weeks it currently takes for results to come back.
Until further notice, Canadians should take precautions and throw away any lettuce in their home. Equally as important, any product that has been in contact with romaine lettuce should also be thrown away.
The reason why E. coli has been so rampant in North America in lettuce has to do with the amount of water supply during cultivation. Often times, cross-contamination is the root of the problem – which stems back to the farm where it’s being grown.
And washing the plant isn’t going to effectively remove the bacteria.
Washing the produce at home is not a reliable way to remove bacteria.
“The bacteria can be stuck on the surface of the lettuce, it can even get inside the lettuce, so if you wash it, you might remove some of the bacteria, but you’re not removing 100 per cent,” says Lawrence Goodridge, professor of food safety at McGill University.
Skedline reporters Alex, Brandon and Sierra have the story for report how this outbreak is affecting life on Humber campus.