U.S. officials declare end to outbreak from romaine lettuce

U.S. health officials are declaring an end to an outbreak of E. coli blamed on romaine lettuce from California that sickened 62 people in the U.S. and 29 in Canada.
U.S. investigators concluded that romaine lettuce grown in central and northern California was the likely source in the outbreak. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

U.S. health officials are declaring an end to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses blamed on romaine lettuce from California.

From October to December, the E. coli outbreak sickened 62 people in 16 states. No one died, but 25 people were hospitalized.

In Canada, as of Dec. 24, 2018, there were 29 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario (5), Quebec (20), New Brunswick (1), and British Columbia (3), according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. On Dec. 24, the agency said the Canadian outbreak appeared to be over.

U.S. investigators concluded that romaine lettuce grown in central and northern California was the likely source. They found the same bacteria strain in a reservoir at a farm in Santa Barbara County.

Officials said Wednesday that no new illnesses have been reported for a month, and lettuce from the area is no longer in stores or restaurants. Romaine harvesting has since shifted to winter growing areas, primarily Arizona, Florida, Mexico and California's Imperial Valley.

With files from CBC News

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