April 17, 2024

Michigan Hardest Hit in Wendy’s Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

Michigan hardest hit in Wendy’s romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health, with at least 53 sick and 31 hospitalized. And eight of those patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure.

Michigan Hardest Hit in Wendy's Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

The number of people sickened in that state has changed dramatically in the past two weeks. On August 16, 2022, a press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said there were 98 cases of E. coli in three counties in that state, with “some” of the cases linked to each other. That compares to just 20 cases in the same time period in 2021.

On August 19, 2022, another press release stated that there were 43 cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections matching the outbreak strain, with 24 hospitalized and four cases of HUS.

Then, on August 25, 2021, a spokesperson told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there were 53 confirmed cases of STEC in Michigan. Currently, the number of cases in each county are: Allegan (1),  Branch (1), Clare (1) Clinton (1), Genesee (3), Gratiot (1), Jackson (2), Kent (10), Macomb (3), Midland (1), Monroe (3),  Muskegon (1). Oakland (9), Ogemaw (1), Ottawa (6), Saginaw (1), Washtenaw (1), Wayne (4), and the City of Detroit (2).

While a specific food has not been identified, many of the patients told investigators that they ate sandwiches and burgers made with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before they got sick. Wendy’s has removed romaine lettuce used to make sandwiches from restaurants in those states.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe and painful abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and possible fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms of HUS include little or no urination, pale skin, lethargy, and easy bruising. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.


Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you or a family member have contracted an E. coli infection or developed HUS from contaminated food, 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 and food processors.

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