Romaine lettuce that is the source of three current E. coli outbreaks is from a single grower in Salinas, CA, according to the latest information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA, which has not released the name of the company, says its investigators are now collecting information from three farms used by that grower to try to determine the source of the contamination.
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The three outbreaks have each been caused by a different strain of E. coli. Here’s what we know about each of them.
The Salinas-grown E. coli Outbreak
Announced by federal health officials on November 20, the Salinas-grown romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak now includes102 illnesses in 23 states. Fifty-eight people have been hospitalized, 10 of them have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a form of kidney failure that is a complication of some E. coli infections.
The FDA was able to identify that the lettuce linked to the outbreak came from the growing region in Salinas, CA prompting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a public health alert advising consumers not to eat and restaurants and retailers not to sell romaine lettuce from Salinas.
All of the Maryland patients reported eating Ready Pac Foods Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad before they became ill. And, after state health officials found the outbreak strain in an unopened bag collected from a sick person’s home, an enormous recall by Missa Bay was announced. The recall includes products sold under a variety of names at Target, Aldi, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Albertsons/Safeway/Vons, Giant Eagle and the side salads at Domino’s Pizza.
The patients, who range in age from less than 1 year to 89 years old, reported onset of symptoms on dates ranging from September 24, 2019 to November 18, 2019.
According to the latest update from the CDC, the most current case count from each state is: Arizona (3), California (4), Colorado (6), Florida (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Maryland (4), Michigan (1), Minnesota (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (7), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (1), Ohio (12), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (8), South Dakota (1), Texas (4), Virginia (4), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (31).
The Fresh Express Bagged Salad Outbreak
The Fresh Express E. coli outbreak, linked to the brand’s Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit bagged salads, has sickened 24 people in the U.S. and Canada. Sixteen of the illnesses were reported from five Canadian provinces. The eight U.S. illnesses were reported from North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Three people have been hospitalized, one of them has HUS.
The U.S. patients range in age from 21 to 91 years old. Health officials interviewed seven of them and all reported eating Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad before they became ill.
The product has been recalled in Canada but not in the U.S. The Fresh Express recall includes all packages of Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit bagged salads bearing a “Best Before dates” up to and including 07DE19, and a lot code beginning with “Z”, and an indication that “Salinas” was the point of origin for the romaine.
In the absence of a U.S. recall, the CDC is advising that Americans not to eat or sell Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with UPC 0 71279 30906 4, lot codes beginning with the letter Z, and a best-before date up to and including 07DEC19. This information is printed in the top right corner of the front of the bag.
The Evergreens E. coli Outbreak
The Evergreens E. coli outbreak includes 13 customers who ate at six of the restaurant’s locations in the Seattle area. They reported the onset of llness from November 8 to November 15, 2019.
- Chinatown-International District (504 5th Ave S, Seattle)
- Downtown (823 3rd Ave, Seattle)
- Pioneer Square (106 1st Ave S, Seattle)
- Sammamish Highlands (600 228th Ave NE, Sammamish)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (17801 International Blvd, Seattle)
- University District (4609 Village Ter NE, Seattle)
The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman represent clients nationwide. Our clients from these outbreaks include a teenager who developed HUS. If you would like to request a free consultation with our E. coli Team, call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.