Sobeys stores halt sale of tainted ro­maine let­tuce

Store makes de­ci­sion in re­sponse to E. coli warn­ings from na­tional pub­lic health agency

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Sports -

Sobeys stores across the coun­try have stopped the sale of over 300 prod­ucts con­tain­ing ro­maine let­tuce prod­ucts fol­low­ing an E. coli no­tice from the Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada.

To date, there have been 18 con­firmed cases of E. coli O157 ill­ness un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in two prov­inces — On­tario where there are three cases, and Que­bec, where 15 peo­ple con­tracted the ill­ness.

Six of the in­di­vid­u­als in­volved have been hos­pi­tal­ized.

No deaths have been re­ported.

In ad­di­tion to Sobeys stores, the com­pany is also re­mov­ing the prod­uct from shelves at Safe­way, IGA, Thrifty Foods, Food­land, FreshCo and Law­ton’s Drug Stores as well as all Sobeys Inc. con­ve­nience store ban­ners in all prov­inces.

In a re­lease, the com­pany says food safety is Sobeys’ top pri­or­ity and that it will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion to pro­tect cus­tomers.

The Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada, mean­while, is ad­vis­ing res­i­dents in On­tario and Que­bec to avoid eat­ing ro­maine let­tuce and salad mixes con­tain­ing ro­maine un­til more is known. The agency says there’s no ev­i­dence to sug­gest that res­i­dents of other prov­ince are af­fected by this out­break.

The agency has re­leased the fol­low­ing tips to help re­duce — but not fully elim­i­nate — the risk of ill­ness:

1. Wash your hands thor­oughly with warm wa­ter and soap for at least 20 sec­onds, be­fore and after han­dling let­tuce.

2. Un­washed let­tuce, in­clud­ing whole heads of let­tuce sold in sealed bags, should be han­dled and washed us­ing these steps:

Dis­card outer leaves of fresh let­tuce.

Wash un­pack­aged let­tuce un­der fresh, cool run­ning wa­ter. There is no need to use any­thing other than wa­ter to wash let­tuce. Wash­ing it gen­tly with wa­ter is as ef­fec­tive as us­ing pro­duce cleansers.

Keep rins­ing your let­tuce un­til all of the dirt has been washed away.

Don’t soak let­tuce in a sink full of wa­ter. It can be­come con­tam­i­nated by bac­te­ria in the sink.

Store let­tuce in the re­frig­er­a­tor for up to seven days. Dis­card when leaves be­come wilted or brown.

Use warm wa­ter and soap to thor­oughly wash all uten­sils, coun­ter­tops, cut­ting boards and stor­age con­tain­ers be­fore and after han­dling let­tuce to avoid cross-con­tam­i­na­tion.

3. Ready- to- eat let­tuce prod­ucts sold in sealed pack­ages and la­belled as washed, pre-washed or triple-washed do not need to be washed again. These prod­ucts should also be re­frig­er­ated and used be­fore the ex­pi­ra­tion date.

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