Federal health officials announced today that they are investigating a third multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak where romaine lettuce is a suspected source. On October 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) simultaneously announced two E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks, each with an unidentified food source, creatively dubbed Outbreak of E. coli infections Unknown Source 1 and Outbreak of E. coli infections Unknown Source 2. Combined they include 44 illnesses and one death.
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The outbreak announced today, Outbreak of E. coli infections Unknown Source 3, was discovered by health officials in Michigan after the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) discovered E. coli O157:H7 in a routine sample of the lettuce collected from a Walmart store in Comstock Park, MI. The product that was sampled was a package of Tanimura & Antle brand single-head romaine.
On November 6, the company issued a recall for the romaine lettuce which was sold at Walmart and Food Lion. Other grocery stores may be also be included as the investigation moves forward.
After MDARD discovered the E. coli, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services conducted genetic analysis on the strain and found that it is highly related genetically to the E. coli strain linked to two recent illnesses in Michigan.
The outbreak now includes cases in five other states, the number of illnesses reported from each is: CA (2), IL (4), MI (2), OH (1), PA (2), VA (1).
Genetic analysis shows that the E. coli strains associated with the three ongoing outbreaks are distinct from one another. But the strains associated with the Unknown Source 1 and Unknown Source 2 outbreaks closely resemble strains associated with previous romaine E. coli outbreaks.
If you developed an E. coli infection from contaminated food you purchased from a grocery store or restaurant and would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman E. coli Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.