An outbreak of E. coli with no known source has spread to 7 states, with at least 17 people infected. The hardest-hit state is New Jersey, with 6 cases that led to an investigation of Panera Bread.
Other states in the outbreak include Idaho, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Missouri and Washington.
Health officials are investigating a Panera Bread in Phillipsburg, New Jersey after a cluster of E. coli illnesses were reported.
New Jersey has identified six E. coli cases in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Warren counties that may be linked to Panera.
However, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey health department said they have “not concretely determined Panera as the source,” adding that the matter remains under investigation.
It is very early in the investigation. This is a preliminary investigation of a half-dozen cases in the four counties. Two of the six were from Somerset County with the other four from the other Central Jersey counties.”
Nationwide, at least 6 of the victims were hospitalized with severe E. coli infections between March 22 and March 31, 2018.
The symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, according to the CDC. The symptoms usually appear within 2-8 days after eating food that is contaminated with E. coli.
Most people with E. coli recover within a week, but some develop a type of kidney failure known a Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).