May 26, 2024

Now 15 Cases of E. coli O111 Confirmed in Applebee’s MN Outbreak

Two more cases of E. coli O111 have been confirmed in Minnesota by the Minnesota Health Department, bringing the total number of cases in that state to 15. The CDC has stated that two more cases in two other states may also be a part of this outbreak, but PFGE results determining the specific strain of bacteria have not been completed for those patients. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is also investigating this outbreak.

E coli bacteriaThe numbers of those sickened who said they ate at Applebee’s restaurants in Minnesota has also changed. Previously, only 7 of the ill persons said they ate at Applebee’s. Now 12 of the 15 people sickened in this outbreak say they ate at Applebee’s restaurants between June 23 and June 29, 2014. That is an expansion of dates from the times officials thought people were exposed, which was June 24 to June 27, 2014.

The Oriental Chicken Salad has been removed from the menu as investigators are trying to trace ingredients through the supply chain to see if they can find the source of contamination. In addition, ingredients used to make the Oriental Chicken Salad have been removed from other products on the menu. Applebee’s has changed suppliers for the Oriental Chicken Salad ingredients to put it back on the menu; those ingredients include shredded carrots, green cabbage, rice noodles, and almonds.

These are the locations of Applebee’s restaurants that are linked to this outbreak: Blaine (two locations), Duluth, Roseville, Willmar, Woodbury, Monticello, Bemidji, and New Hope. ┬áThe restaurants are cooperating with public health investigators as they work to solve this outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman has filed the first lawsuit against Applebee’s on behalf of a young man who was sickened after he ate at the Woodbury location.

If you have had watery and /or bloody diarrhea, along with severe stomach and abdominal cramps in the past few weeks, please see your doctor immediately. Ask for an E. coli O111 test, especially if you ate at an Applebee’s restaurant in Minnesota. If positive, your doctor should report the illness to the Minnesota Department of Health.

This outbreak may be more widespread than first thought, since the contaminated food may have been introduced further back along the supply chain and may have been widely distributed. Proper medical care for an E. coli infection is essential.

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