UNITED STATES: In light of a recent E. coli incident reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wendy’s indicated that they would stop serving lettuce on sandwiches in many Midwestern regions.
Although investigators have not yet determined the source of the epidemic, the CDC said that “several affected persons reported eating sandwiches containing romaine lettuce at Wendy’s locations in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before falling sick.”
CDC investigates Wendy’s E.coli outbreak
On Friday, August 19, Wendy’s posted a statement on their website. “We fully cooperate with public health authorities on their ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported in certain midwestern states,” they declared.
They also, “While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we are taking the precaution of removing the sandwich lettuce from restaurants in that region.”
The statement went on to say, “It is different from the lettuce we use in our salads; this action has no impact on it. As a business, we are dedicated to upholding our strict standards for food safety and quality.”
The CDC first reported the investigation on Wednesday, August 17, when 29 people were exposed to the pandemic. More people have been impacted, with 37 illnesses and ten hospitalizations reported across four states (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).
The CDC reported that at this time, investigators are trying to determine whether romaine lettuce is the cause of the current outbreak and whether the lettuce used by Wendy’s in its sandwiches was also available at other retailers.
At this point, the EPA does not suggest that customers stay away from Wendy’s or eat romaine lettuce.
Escherichia coli, or E. coli, is a type of bacteria typically found in human and animal intestines. While the majority of E. coli do not cause sickness, the CDC notes that some of them can be consumed in contaminated water or food or when in contact with animals or people.
The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), the most prevalent of the six types, causes severe vomiting, stomach cramps, and occasionally bloody diarrhoea. Symptoms start three to four days after ingesting the bacteria.
After five to seven days, recovery is likely to occur without needing medication; nevertheless, some patients may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure that necessitates hospitalization. The CDC advises contacting your healthcare practitioner if you have any symptoms.