The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a public health notice regarding illnesses in the Maritimes and Ontario stemming from an E. coli outbreak. The E. coli O157:H7 illnesses have been linked to shredded lettuce distributed by FreshPoint Inc., primarily to some KFC and KFC/Taco Bell co-branded restaurants in these provinces.
These products were not distributed to grocery stores. The contaminated products are unlikely still available.
As a precaution, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working with FreshPoint Inc. to recall any remaining affected products from these restaurants. At this point, the source of contamination for the shredded lettuce has not been determined. The CFIA has traced the lettuce to its origin in California and has notified U.S. authorities of this finding. The CFIA is verifying that appropriate food safety controls were followed at each step of production, processing and distribution. Immediate action will be taken to ensure that any unsafe food is removed from the marketplace.
The outbreak has yielded 26 total cases thus far. These individuals became ill between late December and early January.
The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to lead the coordination of the investigation into this outbreak in close collaboration with its health and food safety partners. There are six cases in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and 10 in Ontario. The majority of cases have recovered or are recovering. Additional cases of illness may be identified and linked to this outbreak in the future.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and provincial health and food safety authorities will continue their investigation to determine if additional action is required to protect Canadians.
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