An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has sickened 35 people in 11 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of illnesses has doubled since the outbreak was first reported three days ago and many of them are serious. So far, twenty-two people have been hospitalized, three of whom have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure.
The CDC is advising consumers nationwide to throw away any store-bought romaine lettuces they have at home including salads and salad mixes containing romaine grown in Yuma, AZ. Specific products or brands that may be affected have not yet been identified but the agency has determined that the tainted greens were grown in Yuma, AZ. Consumers who want to buy romaine lettuce products or order them at restaurants should make sure they were not grown in this area.
Restaurants are also being advised not serve chopped romaine from this growing area. A traceback investigation is underway to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that was supplied to restaurants where some of those who became ill ate.
As a result of the outbreak, Freshway Foods issued a recall for “select chopped romaine lettuce sold at Schnucks Delis and Salad Bars,” according to recall information posted on the grocery company’s website. Products sold at Schnucks affected by the recall include:
- Products from the self-service salad bar containing romaine lettuce
- Four products from the from the self-service deli/prepared foods area: Apple Walnut Salad, Greek Salad, Cobb Salad and Tossed Garden Salad
Based in Sidney, OH, Freshway Foods is a wholesale food distributor that processes, packages and ships chopped vegetables.
In a recall issued April 14, Giant Eagle voluntarily recalled 37 products containing the recalled shopped romaine lettuce sold at is Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo stores. At the time of the recall, the company said it had not received any reports of illnesses. The recalled salads, boxed lunches and wraps were packaged in clear, plastic containers and sold in the catering, restaurant and salad bar areas of stores from April 9 to April 13.
GREAT TO GO CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD
GREAT TO GO CHICKEN BACON COBB SALAD
GREAT TO GO CHEF SALAD
GREAT TO GO GARDEN CHICKEN SALAD
GREAT TO GO GARDEN SALAD WITH BALSAMIC
GREAT TO GO GARDEN SALAD
GIANT EAGLE CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD
GIANT EAGLE GREEK SALAD
GIANT EAGLE GARDEN MEDLEY SALAD
GIANT EAGLE STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH CANDIED PECANS
GIANT EAGLE GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD
GIANT EAGLE COBB SALAD
GIANT EAGLE BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD
GIANT EAGLE ITALIAN STYLE SALAD
GIANT EAGLE CHEF SALAD
LARGE GIANT EAGLE CAESAR SALAD FROM CATERING
SMALL GIANT EAGLE CAESAR SALAD FROM CATERING
LARGE GIANT EAGLE GARDEN SALAD FROM CATERING
SMALL GIANT EAGLE GARDEN SALAD FROM CATERING
MARKET DISTRICT CAESAR SALAD
MARKET DISTRICT GRAB AND GO GRILLED CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD
MARKET DISTRICT GREEK SALAD
MARKET DISTRICT GRAB AND GO GARDEN SALAD WITH BALSAMIC
MARKET DISTRICT GRAB AND GO GARDEN SALAD WITH RANCH
MARKET DISTRICT GRAB AND GO GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD WITH BALSAMIC
MARKET DISTRICT GRAB AND GO GRILLED CHICKEN GARDEN SALAD W RANCH
MARKET DISTRICT GRAB AND GO GRILLED CHICKEN COBB SALAD
MARKET DISTRICT CHICKEN SALAD WITH CANDIED WALNUTS AND GRAPES
GIANT EAGLE CAESAR SALAD WITH CREAMY CAESAR DRESSING
GIANT EAGLE ITALIAN STYLE SALAD WITH ITALIAN DRESSING
GIANT EAGLE GARDEN SALAD WITH RANCH DRESSING
MARKET DISTRICT SANDWICH BOXED LUNCH
MARKET DISTRICT SALAD BOXED LUNCH
GIANT EAGLE BUFFALO CHICKEN WRAP WITH RANCH
MARKET DISTRICT COMBO BOXED LUNCH
GIANT EAGLE BUFFALO CHICKEN WRAP
MARKET DISTRICT BIG BOX LUNCH
Fresh Foods Manufacturing Co.
The Giant Eagle recall includes items listed in an associated recall announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for items produced at Fresh Foods Manufacturing Co, a prepared foods production facility owned by Giant Eagle located in Freedom, Pennsylvania.
On April 14, Fresh Foods Manufacturing Co. issued a recall for 8,757 pounds of ready-to-eat salads that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The recall came one day after the company received word from a produce supplier that the romaine lettuce used in the production of those products was being recalled for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. At the time of the recall, there had been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, according to the recall information posted on the USDA website.
The recalled products were produced from April 9, 2018 to April 12, 2018 and packaged in clear, plastic containers with “Great to Go” by Market District and has a sell-by date of 04/13/18-04/16/18 on the label. They are:
- Caesar Salad with Chicken (11.5 oz)
- Chicken and Bacon salad (14.4 oz)
- Chef Salad with Ham, Turkey and Hard-boiled Egg (14.1 oz.)
- Chef Salad with Ham, Turkey and Hard-boiled Egg (13.1 oz.)
These products were sold at GetGo fuel stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania and GetGo Cafe and Market Fuel stations in Indiana.
Investigation of E. coli Outbreak
The CDC is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state health departments to investigate this outbreak which includes people who ate tainted greens at restaurants. The first illnesses were reported March 22 and now include 35 cases from 11 states with the following totals: Connecticut (2), Idaho (8), Illinois (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (9), Virginia (1) and Washington (1).
Those sickened range in age from 12 to 84 years old. The median age is 29. Most of the case patients, 69 percent, are female.
Twenty-eight of the case patients who have been interviewed by health officials say they ate chopped romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started. Most of them said they had eaten the romaine in salads they ordered at restaurants. Restaurants contacted by health officials reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.
Two of the three cases of HUS are in Idaho, which has been particularly hard-hit with eight cases and three hospitalizations. All of those patients, who range in age from 20 -55, reported eating chopped romaine lettuce in the 10 days before they became ill.
This investigation is ongoing. If you or a loved one has an E. coli infection from contaminated romaine lettuce identified as the source of this outbreak and you have questions about a lawsuit for compensation and justice, contact the Bag Bug Law Team at Pritzker Hageman. Attorneys Brendan Flaherty, Fred Pritzker and our team food poisoning lawyers have represented people sickened in almost every major foodborne outbreak in the United States for the last 20 years.
Updated April 15 to include recall information.
Update April 21 to include expanded consumer advisory information from the CDC.