E.coli 0157 Source Determined

Health and Wellness

January 11, 2013 4:23 PM

Lettuce at KFC/Taco Bell locations is the likely source of the E.coli 0157 outbreak in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario.

"The evidence from our collaborative investigation leads us to believe that the common food source was distributed to this fast-food restaurant chain," said Dr. Frank Atherton, Nova Scotia's deputy chief medical officer of health. "Lettuce has a limited shelf life, and we have not seen a new case in more than a week. This tells us it is highly unlikely the food item remains in the food chain. As an added precaution, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is issuing a recall of the lettuce products."

Federal authorities continue to investigate the cause of the contamination. In Nova Scotia, the Department of Agriculture has inspected impacted locations and no food safety issues related to the outbreak have been identified in these restaurants.

Nova Scotia has had 10 confirmed cases, five of which have been linked to the outbreak, to date.

All patients have been seen by health-care professionals and are either recovering or recovered.

To prevent and reduce the spread of E.coli 0157:
-- wash and peel all raw vegetables and fruits before eating
-- properly cook all meat and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer
-- wash hands, cutting boards and other surfaces that come into contact with raw meat
-- ensure dairy products consumed are pasturized.

Symptoms of E.coli 0157 may resemble gastro-intestinal illness and can include abdominal cramps, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms and their severity vary.

People experiencing symptoms should call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse, or contact a health care professional.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Lettuce at KFC/Taco Bell locations is the likely source of

the E.coli 0157 outbreak.

     Nova Scotia's deputy chief medical officer of health says

the evidence from the investigation points a common food source

distributed to a single fast-food chain restaurant in the

province.

     Lettuce has a limited shelf life, and with no new cases in

more than a week, provincial officials believe it is highly

likely it is through the food chain.

     Federal authorities continue to investigate the cause of the

contamination.

     In Nova Scotia, the Department of Agriculture has inspected

locations and found no significant food safety issues.

     Symptoms of E.coli 0157 can include abdominal cramps,

vomiting and bloody diarrhea but can vary.

     People experiencing symptoms should call 8-1-1 to speak with

a nurse, or contact a health care professional.

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Media Contact: Tony Kiritsis
              Health and Wellness
              902-424-0585
              E-mail: tony.kiritsis@gov.ns.ca