New Brunswick

E. coli case in New Brunswick is linked to romaine lettuce

A case of E. coli has been confirmed in New Brunswick and linked to contaminated lettuce.

Department of Health recommends New Brunswickers avoid lettuce to avoid getting sick

One case of an E. coli illness linked to lettuce has been confirmed in New Brunswick. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

A case of E. coli has been confirmed in New Brunswick and linked to contaminated lettuce.

The strain is the same one that has been found on romaine lettuce in the United States, Ontario and Quebec.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, confirmed the case in an interview with CBC New Brunswick on Wednesday afternoon.

She said she couldn't say the patient's condition, age, gender or place of residence. Nor could she say if the patient had recently travelled to Ontario, where three cases have been confirmed or Quebec, where there are 15 cases .

"I don't have any information other than it was a lab-confirmed case linked to the other cases," Russell said.

"Those ones the likely source has been determined to be romaine lettuce."

Earlier in the day, Sobeys and Atlantic Superstore cleared their shelves of products containing romaine lettuce.

This is the third outbreak of E. coli related to lettuce in North America this year.

Avoid romaine lettuce, says department

The province is recommending people avoid romaine lettuce and wash it under cold, running water rather than soak it in a sink of water. (CBC News)

Russell said the Department of Health is advising New Brunswickers to avoid romaine lettuce for the foreseeable future and to take precautions if they do decide to consume lettuce.

"Wash fresh unpackaged lettuce under cool running water … don't soak the lettuce in a sink full of water because it can become contaminated by bacteria," said Russell.

Russell would not say if there were any other suspected but unconfirmed cases of E. coli in the province related to lettuce.

The investigation into the case of the contamination is continuing. 

The department said symptoms of E. coli appear within four days of infection and include frequent diarrhea, often bloody, and stomach cramps.

Symptoms can last up to 10 days.

About the Author

Jordan Gill

Reporter

Jordan Gill is a CBC reporter based out of Fredericton. He can be reached at jordan.gill@cbc.ca.