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Updated: 7 February 2013
Why you should take note
This outbreak appears to be over.
In total, 30 cases of illness were reported in the Maritimes and Ontario as part of this outbreak. The last reported case became ill on January 9, 2013; no new cases of illness have been reported since.
The investigation indicated that the most probable cause of the E. coli O157:H7 illnesses was shredded lettuce distributed by FreshPoint Inc. primarily to some KFC and KFC-Taco Bell restaurants.
Lettuce has a short shelf life, therefore contaminated products are unlikely to still be available and the risk to the Canadians remains low.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, in collaboration with provincial/territorial partners, will continue to monitor for and investigate any new cases of E.coli that may be related to this outbreak as part of its routine surveillance activities.
Investigations into outbreaks of food-borne illness can be complex. Since early January 2013, the Agency has been leading a committee to investigate these illnesses that includes public health and food safety experts from the CFIA, Health Canada and Provincial Health Authorities. The committee meets regularly to share and review the latest information and determine what actions should be taken to protect Canadians.
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.
More information about the epidemiological investigation is also available.
|Province / Territory||Total cases|
E. coli O157 food-borne illnesses are not uncommon in Canada. In recent years, an average of about 440 cases of this type of E. coli infection was reported annually in Canada.
What you should do
Most strains of E. coli are harmless; however, some strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can make people sick, causing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Serious complications of an E. coli O157:H7 infection can include kidney failure.
If you think you are sick with an E. coli infection, consult a healthcare professional.