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More Cases in E. Coli Outbreak Linked with Wendy’s Restaurant Lettuce

By Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A complete of 97 people across six states have been made ill by E. coli, within an outbreak possibly linked with contaminated lettuce found in sandwiches sold at Wendy’s restaurants.

“Because the last update on August 25, 2022, 13 more illnesses have already been reported to CDC,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said within an updated statement released Thursday. Two states — Kentucky and NY (with one case each) — have been put into the set of states reporting cases, which also contains Michigan (58 cases), Ohio (24), Indiana (11) and Pennsylvania (2).

Illnesses from infection with the gastrointestinal bacterium have often been severe.

“Of 81 people who have information available, 43 have already been hospitalized and 10 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a significant condition that may cause kidney failure,” the CDC said, although “no deaths have already been reported.”

The precise way to obtain the outbreak has still not been officially confirmed, however the CDC said that in 67 cases where investigators asked what folks had eaten in the week ahead of becoming ill, 81% reported they had eaten at Wendy’s.

“Of 54 people who have detailed information regarding what they ate at Wendys, 37 [69%] reported eating romaine lettuce served on burgers and sandwiches,” the agency noted.

On Aug. 19, Wendy’s announced that it had removed romaine lettuce from its sandwiches in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“Wendys is taking the precautionary way of measuring removing the romaine lettuce used in sandwiches from restaurants for the reason that region,” the CDC said at that time. “Investigators will work to verify whether romaine lettuce may be the way to obtain this outbreak, and whether romaine lettuce found in Wendys sandwiches was served or sold at other businesses.”

Romaine lettuce sold in food markets does not look like affected, the CDC said, and folks can still eat at Wendys and eat the romaine lettuce in the salads it sells. Wendys explained in a statement that the lettuce found in its salads isn’t exactly like which used in its sandwiches.

“We have been fully cooperating with public health authorities on the ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported using midwestern states,” the business said at that time. “As the CDC have not yet confirmed a particular food because the way to obtain that outbreak, we have been taking the precaution of discarding and replacing the sandwich lettuce at some restaurants for the reason that region.”

A lot of people having an E. coli infection “start queasy three to four 4 days after eating or drinking a thing that provides the bacteria,” the CDC said. “However, illnesses can begin from 1 to 10 days after exposure.” Illnesses typically last from 5 to seven days.

How to proceed:

  • Watch out for outward indications of severe E. coli, such as diarrhea lasting a lot more than three days or diarrhea along with a fever greater than 102F, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and too little urination.
  • In the event that you have problems with these symptoms, call your physician immediately.
  • Keep an eye on what and where you ate in the week before you have sick and report it to your neighborhood or state health department.

More info

For more on the outbreak, check out the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Aug. 25, 2022; Wendy’s, statement, Aug. 19, 2022

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