Wendy's E. Coli Outbreak Is Bigger Than Initially Reported
A multistate E. coli outbreak that has been traced back to Wendy's is growing in scope. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 37 cases of food poisoning with the potentially deadly bacteria on Friday, but the number is now said to be over 100, and still expected to rise as state authorities continue to track the infection.
While the exact source of the outbreak hasn't been officially named by authorities, the CDC's investigation is focusing on romaine lettuce served on Wendy's burgers and sandwiches, such as Dave's Singles and Jr. Cheeseburgers. The chain has stopped serving the questionable lettuce at some restaurants in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, where the outbreak is active.
"While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we are taking the precaution of removing the sandwich lettuce from restaurants in that region," the chain's statement said. "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."
The CDC stated that people do not need to steer clear of Wendy's or avoid eating romaine lettuce and there seems to be no evidence that the lettuce purchased in grocery stores or consumed at other restaurants is implicated in this outbreak.
According to The New York Post, the number of cases in Michigan alone has climbed to 43, while results for 55 more cases in the state are pending.
Additionally, lawsuits against Wendy's are beginning to trickle in from victims based in Michigan and Ohio. According to Bill Marler, an attorney representing some of them, the number of confirmed cases is likely to reach "over 200 in the next couple of days."
Victims' ages range from 6 to 91, and several have so far been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.