An outbreak of Escherichia coli O157, commonly called E.coli, has been reported earlier this week by the Public Health Agency of Canada. There have been 24 cases of E.coli with a matching genetic fingerprint identified in Alberta (1), Ontario (7), Quebec (14) and Nova Scotia (2). A specific source or product has not been identified yet, and the investigation is ongoing.According to the PHAC, anyone can get an E.coli infection, however, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications. Most people with an E. coli infection are ill for a few days and then recover fully, however infections can sometimes be life threatening. People infected with E.coli can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. Others feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach. Still others become seriously ill and must be hospitalized. More information on symptoms can be found here.
Washing fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them is listed among safe food handling practices that help reduce the risk of infection. For the full list of recommendations on the safe handling of food available on the Public Health Agency of Canada website, click here.
You can contact Swish to find out what products – for example, ALLORGANIC(R) Fruit and Veggie Wash – would be best suited for the above practices at home and in your organization.