CDC: E. coli sickens 97 people in 6 states; most ate lettuce at a Wendy’s

Consumer Reports is advising people in opposition to consuming any Wendy’s sandwich or salad with romaine lettuce till extra is understood about a pressure of E. coli that has at sickened 97 people in six states, hospitalizing 43. 

The non-profit advocacy group cited its meals security specialists in urging a cautious strategy till the fast-food chain can affirm the supply of the pathogen and particulars the way it plans to handle the issue. 

“E. coli can be especially harmful to young children, infants, older persons and those with a compromised immune system,” James Rogers, CR’s director of meals security and testing, stated in a statement. “The goal is to minimize your risk of getting it, and until we know more about its source, it’s safest to avoid consuming Wendy’s sandwiches served with lettuce and any Wendy’s salad containing romaine lettuce.”

While the supply of the outbreak is unclear, lots of these who lately contracted E. coli reported consuming burgers on sandwiches with romaine lettuce at a Wendy’s restaurant earlier than getting sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said

“Romaine lettuce served on burgers and sandwiches at Wendy’s was one of the most common ingredients eaten among the menu items, but investigators continue to analyze data at the ingredient level to determine if there are any other possible foods that could be the source of the outbreak,” the company stated.

Still, there is no such thing as a cause for people to cease consuming at Wendy’s or buying romaine lettuce, in accordance with the CDC. “At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants or in people’s homes is linked to this outbreak,” it stated on Thursday.

Larger outbreak?

The CDC on Thursday greater than doubled its tally to these contaminated to 97, together with 58 who reside in Michigan, 24 from Ohio, two from Pennsylvania, 11 Indiana residents and one in New York. Of the 67 of those that had been interviewed as a part of an company probe, 54 stated they ate at a Wendy’s in the week earlier than they bought sick. 

But the precise variety of these sickened in the outbreak is probably going larger than reported, the CDC famous.

Of these sickened, 10 had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a probably lethal kind of kidney illness that always requires dialysis, the company stated.

A Wendy’s consultant stated the company is cooperating with public well being officers investigating the outbreak. The company additionally has discarded and changed the sandwich lettuce at some eateries in the area the place people had been stricken. 

“The lettuce that we use in our salads is different, and is not affected by this action,” Wendy’s stated.

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s and its franchisees function about 7,000 eating places worldwide. 

Romaine lettuce and different greens like spinach and clover sprouts have been concerned in at least 17 E. coli outbreaks across the U.S. between 2006 and 2019, according to the CDC.

E. coli outbreaks involving romaine lettuce sickened practically 200 people throughout the nation in late 2019, with regulators finally pointing to cow feces because the doubtless offender. The contaminated lettuce was grown downslope from public land the place cattle grazed in the Salinas Valley in California.

Four years in the past, McDonald’s switched its lettuce provider after its salads sickened greater than 500 people in 15 states, with the cyclospora parasite found to be behind the infections. 

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