Romaine lettuce is seen at market in Montreal on Thursday, November 22, 2018. Restaurants and grocery stores in Canada have not officially been told to pull their stocks of romaine lettuce, but an ongoing outbreak of E.coli is prompting many to do just that. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Three more cases of E. coli confirmed, none found in tested Canadian lettuce

The total number of cases since mid-October is 22

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has tested more than 2,000 samples of fresh lettuce and packaged salads looking for the source of an E. coli outbreak but hasn’t found any produce that contains the bacteria.

Aline Dimitri, the deputy chief food-safety officer for the agency, says the results don’t mean E. coli is gone from Canada’s food supply but it does suggest if it’s present it is there in very low levels.

RELATED: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

Three more cases of E. coli were confirmed in Ontario and Quebec Friday, bringing the total number since mid-October to 22: one in New Brunswick, four in Ontario and 17 in Quebec.

Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public-health officer, says experts tracing the patients’ food histories found most of them had eaten romaine lettuce in the days before they got sick.

The agency is recommending people in those provinces not eat romaine lettuce and throw out any they still have in their fridges.

RELATED: B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases

Njoo says the most recent illness began Nov. 1 but a delay in reporting means the agency didn’t find out about it until this week.

The Canadian Press

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