DUBLIN, OHIO – Wendy’s, Inc. is discarding and replacing sandwich lettuce at some restaurants in the Midwest after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced over 30 E. coli cases in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“We are fully cooperating with public health authorities on their ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported in certain midwestern states,” Wendy’s said. “While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we are taking the precaution of discarding and replacing the sandwich lettuce at some restaurants in that region. The lettuce that we use in our salads is different and is not affected by this action. As a company, we are committed to upholding our high standards of food safety and quality.”
By Aug. 18, 37 consumers had been infected with the strain of E. coli 0157:H7, according to the CDC. Dates of the illnesses ranged from July 26 to Aug. 8. Among the 10 who were hospitalized, three developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths had been reported.
The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are collecting data to identify the source of the outbreak.
Among the 26 consumers interviewed so far, 22 said they ate at a Wendy’s restaurant the week before their illness started. Romaine lettuce served on burgers and sandwiches at Wendy’s was one of the most common ingredients eaten among the menu items. Investigators continue to analyze data to determine if any other foods could be the source of the outbreak.