E.coli outbreaks in N.B., Que., linked to California farm

By on July 19, 2012

A California farm has been linked as the source of potentially deadly E.coli outbreaks in New Brunswick, Quebec and California in April, says the California Department of Public Health.

Amazing Coachella Inc. farms grew the romaine lettuce responsible for the outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7, public health officials said. (The tainted lettuce also effected 9 people on California: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/07/california-canada-romaine-lettuce-outbreak-linked-to-amazing-coachella-inc/)

That’s the same strain of E. coli that killed seven people during the tainted water scandal in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000.

E. coli O157: H7 secretes a powerful toxin that can destroy red blood cells leading to severe illness, high blood pressure and kidney damage.

New Brunswick public health officials said at least 13 people were infected with the potentially deadly strain in Miramichi and another 11 people may have been infected by the same strain.

The majority of those cases were linked to a Jungle Jim’s restaurant in northern Miramichi.

The California Department of Public Health said the lettuce also infected nine people in California and one person in Quebec.

The California cases are said to have come from a single restaurant, while the origin of the Quebec illness has not been stated.

Meanwhile, New Brunswick health officials continue to investigate the source of another outbreak in Fredericton earlier this month. There have been four confirmed cases.

The main symptom for this strain of E. coli is bloody diarrhea, but it can also cause vomiting and stomach cramps. There is no fever.

Those most at risk of developing serious complications include pregnant women, young children, seniors and people with a weakened immune system, such as those on chemotherapy.

Print Friendly