The E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, CA has grown to include 138 patients, 13 of whom have a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the agency’s last update on December 4, the outbreak has grown to include two more states, 36 more people and two more cases of HUS. The most recent case was reported on December 1.
Outbreak investigators have had a difficult time identifying a romaine source that can explain all of the illnesses. ln Maryland, illnesses were linked to Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Caesar Chicken Salads sold at Sam’s Club stores. And, after state health officials found the outbreak strain in an unopened package at one of the patient’s homes, Missa Bay issued a recall of the pre-packaged romaine salads containing meat and chicken.
But patients in other states did not eat Ready Pac Bistro salads or other products recalled by Missa Bay. What the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined so far is that all of the patients sickened in this outbreak ate romaine lettuce that was grown in Salinas, CA.
Then the Wisconsin Department of Health Services found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in an unopened bag of Fresh Express brand Leafy Green Romaine collected from an ill person’s home. The growing region identified on the bag was Salinas.
The FDA has determined that one of the growers for that Fresh Express product also supplied romaine linked to other E. coli outbreaks the agency is investigating. These outbreaks are linked to Evergreens restaurants in Seattle and Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits with illnesses in Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the last 20 years. Our clients from this outbreak include a teenager who developed HUS. If you would like to request a free consultation with our experienced E. coli Team, call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.