E. coli outbreak associated with Wendy’s restaurants has now sickened 97 people in 6 states


Wendy’s restaurants have been linked to an outbreak of E. coli now reported in six states, with 97 people infected, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an update Thursday.

Of the 67 people for whom local public health officials have a detailed dietary history, 81% said they had eaten at a Wendy’s restaurant the week before their illness began, the CDC said.

No deaths have been reported, but according to the CDC, 43 people have been hospitalized and 10 have developed Hemolytic uraemic syndromea serious illness that can lead to kidney failure.

“The actual number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to states with known illnesses,” the update said. “Also, some people recover without medical attention and are not tested for E. coli.”

So far, no specific food has been confirmed as the source of the outbreak, according to the CDC. Late Augusthowever, Wendy’s has removed romaine lettuce that was used in sandwiches at its restaurants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the CDC.

The CDC does not advise people to avoid Wendy’s, and the agency notes that there is no evidence that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores or served in other restaurants is linked to the current outbreak.

Those with symptoms of E. coli, such as diarrhea and a fever over 102°F, severe vomiting or signs of dehydration, should call their health care provider immediately, according to the CDC. They are also encouraged to write down what they ate the previous week and report their illness to their local or national health service.

Every year, approximately 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness of at least 31 known pathogens and other unspecified agents, according to the CDC, and about 3,000 lose their lives.

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