The Sobeys and Loblaws grocery chains are pulling romaine lettuce off the shelves at all their stores across Canada in response to a E. Coli outbreak in the Ontario, Quebec and parts of the U.S.
The United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centre for Disease Control, are coordinating with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in investigating this outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in the United States and Canada.
According to CNN, the CDC has conducted more investigations in 2018 than in any of the last ten years.
Loblaw and Sobeys have both said that they have stopped selling romaine lettuce nationwide. Now there are no food recalls associated with this outbreak. These symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, headache, mild fever, severe stomach cramps and watery or bloody diarrhoea.
Thirty-two illnesses have been reported from 11 states, including 13 people who have been hospitalized.
CDC is advising that USA consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak.
Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said Wednesday morning all romaine and products containing it were pulled from the grocer's shelves overnight.
Jim Chan, a former health inspector and manager at Toronto Public Health, said he believes it is within the provincial public health body's abilities to issue a warning to all food premises, including restaurants, quick-dining options and supermarkets, to stop serving romaine until the CFIA confirms the product is safe.
Chan added that most of Canada's romaine lettuce is imported from the USA because Canada's growing season ended in August.
Read the full public health notice at this link.
Those affected were between the ages of five and 93 and were located in Ontario and Quebec.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA believes the source of the outbreak is romaine lettuce, and has warned businesses and consumers not to use or eat the leaf until the affected batch has been tracked down.