A fast-moving outbreak of E. coli illnesses with 37 illnesses has been linked to Wendy’s restaurants, according to an investigation notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A specific food has not yet been confirmed, but many of the sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants.
Illnesses have been reported in Michigan (15), Ohio (19), Indiana (1) and Pennsylvania (2), with ten people hospitalized. Three people in Michigan developed a life-threatening type of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.
The illnesses started on dates ranging from July 26, 2022, to August 8, 2022. More recent illnesses may not have been reported yet. The CDC believes the true number of illnesses is likely higher.
Wendy’s responded by removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from restaurants in that region.
For now, the CDC is not warning people to avoid eating at Wendy’s, or that people stop eating romaine lettuce.
“At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants, or in people’s homes is linked to this outbreak,” according to the CDC.
The symptoms of E. coli may include diarrhea (which may be bloody), severe stomach cramps, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. People with severe symptoms should call their healthcare provider right away.