January 27, 2023

Alleged Wendy’s E. coli Outbreak Was Number One in 2022

The alleged Wendy’s E. coli outbreak was the number one outbreak of 2022, with at least 109 people sick in six states, and 52 patients hospitalized. The CDC says that they were unable to confirm a food source, but more than 80% of patients who were interviewed by public health officials said they ate at a Wendy’s restaurant, choosing burgers and sandwiches made with romaine lettuce, before they got sick.

Alleged Wendy's E. coli Outbreak Was Number One in 2022

The case count by state was: Indiana (11), Kentucky (2), Michigan (67), New York (1), Ohio (24), and Pennsylvania (4). The Wendy’s restaurants where sick people ate were in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The patient age range was from 1 to 94 years. Illness onset dates ranged from July 26, 2022 to August 17, 2022. Fifty-two people were hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 53.8%, which is very high. Thirteen of those patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure.

Among 82 people who were interviewed, 83% said they ate at a Wendy’s in the week before they got sick. While Wendy’s removed romaine lettuce from their menus in those states, officials could not confirm romaine as the source of this outbreak. One reason was that the meals eaten at Wendy’s had so many similar ingredients. And no laboratory or traceback evidence could confirm romaine as the source of the outbreak. The outback strain was not identified on any tested food item.

Whole genome sequencing showed that isolates from patients were closely related genetically, which means they likely got sick from eating the same food.

If you have been ill with the symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, please see your doctor. You may be part of an outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a food poisoning infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors.

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