Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak Expands, 67 Now Sick

The romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak has expanded, 67 people are now sick. Six of the 39 people hospitalized have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure. Federal health officials have determined that the contaminated lettuce was grown in Salinas, CA and warn that consumers should only eat romaine lettuce that they know was grown elsewhere.

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The outbreak now includes cases from 19 states with Wisconsin reporting the most illnesses with a total of 21. The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman have been retained to represent multiple clients in Wisconsin including a teenager who developed HUS and a 4-year-old child, both of whom were hospitalized. The hospitalization rate for this outbreak is three times the average, indicating that this is a particularly virulent strain of E. coli. 

The number of lab-confirmed cases from each state is: Arizona (3), California (4), Colorado (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (4), Michigan (1), Minnesota (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (2), Ohio (12), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (3), Texas (2), Virginia (2), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (21). The patients, who range in age from 3 to 89 years old, reported onset of symptoms from September 24, 2019, to November 14, 2019.

E. coli lawyer - romaine outbreak CDC map 11:26:19

The patients in Maryland reported eating prepackaged salads before they became ill. Specifically, they reported eating Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salads purchased from Sam’s Club stores.

Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker says it’s unconscionable that information on the traceback investigation of these products has not been made public. Especially considering that the outbreak strain has been linked to two prior outbreaks. One romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak in the fall of 2018 sickened 62 people in 16 states. The other a leafy greens E. coli outbreak in the fall of 2017 that sickened 25 people in 15 states. (Many of the patients specifically said they ate romaine.)

“If we know, for example, the product source of the Maryland illnesses why is it taking so long to identify growers and distributors? Why are supply chains so opaque and poorly documented?
If we knew this information, we could determine who else received the same product. The 2018 outbreak was associated with contaminated irrigation water. How and why was this not monitored? This is a government failure of the highest magnitude. American consumers have every reason to be shocked and outraged and should demand changes,” Pritzker said.


Pritzker Hageman E. coli lawyers, who represent clients nationwide, have secured some of the largest verdicts in U.S. history. If you have been sickened in this outbreak, we want to represent you, too. For a free consultation, call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.

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