According to press reports, Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recalling the lettuce believed to be at the center of the outbreak. The source of the lettuce has not been announced. Dr. Frank Atherton, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, says investigators believe that lettuce distributed to KFC and Taco Bell is behind the E. coli outbreak in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. New Brunswick has reported six cases of the infection, Nova Scotia has had 10 and there have been four cases in Ontario.
In 2006 lettuce in Taco Bell Restaurants were linked to 78 ill with E. coli O157:H7 on the East Coast of the United Sates. And, in 1999 KFC Restaurants in Ohio were linked to 18 ill with E. coli O157:H7.
In 2006, at least one Canadian resident became ill with an E. coli infection during an outbreak linked to spinach grown in California. In 2008, 55 residents of Ontario, Canada suffered E. coli infections after eating Romaine lettuce served at local restaurants, and at least 3 Canadians became ill with E. coli infections after eating iceberg lettuce. In both outbreaks, the lettuce was traced back to California growers. In 2009, at least 4 Ontario residents fell ill with E. coli infections after eating contaminated lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants. Also that year, 12 Canadians became ill during a Salmonella outbreak traced to California lettuce. And, in 2012, at least 18 Canadians suffered E. coli infections after eating California-grown Romaine lettuce in April and more were part of an E. coli outbreak traced to a similar product in August.