Break out the salad bowls, romaine lettuce is safe to eat once again.

An outbreak of E. coli infections linked to the lettuce "appears to be over," the Public Health Agency of Canada says. 

"The risk to Canadians has returned to low and the Public Health Agency of Canada is no longer advising individuals in affected provinces to consider consuming other types of lettuce, instead of romaine lettuce," it said in an update published on its website earlier this week. 

Via flickr/ruthhartnup

Health Canada issued warnings in December regarding eating the lettuce sold in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia after multiple reports of E.coli outbreaks. By December 28th, there were more than 40 cases under investigation and one reported death.

E. coli bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals and are typically harmless. But infection with the O157 strain - which had been found in Canadian lettuce - can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

While healthy adults usually recover within a week, young children the elderly have an increased risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome - a life-threatening type of kidney failure.

To protect against E. coli infection, health officials say people should thoroughly wash their hands, counters and utensils, as well as their fresh produce.

As of now, the investigation into the possible source of the contaminated product remains active in the United States. But in Canada, the warning across the four affected provinces are no longer in place.

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