Wendy’s E. coli outbreak sickens dozens, lettuce eyed

Wendy’s E. coli outbreak sickens dozens, lettuce eyed


The Wendy’s food poisoning outbreak linked to lettuce has grown to 84 victims, sending 38 of them to the hospital, the CDC reported on Thursday.

The agency, which had identified just 37 cases of E. coli on Aug. 19 in four states, is zeroing in on the lettuce Wendy’s uses in its burgers and chicken sandwiches.

“Many sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before getting sick,” the agency said.

The agency’s numbers are likely lower than the actual number of victims, as The Post reported, because state agencies are still gathering test results from victims.

The CDC stopped short of recommending that consumers refrain from eating at Wendy’s, which has nearly 7,000 location in the US and 29 countries around the world.

The CDC headquarters in Atlanta.
The CDC says it’s still investigating the outbreak, but is focusing on the lettuce Wendy’s uses in its sandwiches.

While Wendy’s says its cooperating with the investigation and has replaced its sandwich lettuce, that’s a small comfort to customers who have experienced severe symptoms, including painful cramping and diarrhea. 

Three Wendy's sandwiches.
Wendy’s has replaced the lettuce it uses in sandwiches in some restaurants in the Midwest.

In late July, Ebony-Colbert Taylor became so violently ill after eating a Dave’s Single hamburger with all the toppings at a Wendy’s in Farmington, Mich. 

She was hospitalized for more than a week after being diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure, according to a lawsuit she just filed against the Dublin, Ohio-based fast-food chain.

Romaine lettuce.
Wendy’s says that the lettuce is uses in its sandwiches is different from the lettuce in its salads.
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Michigan alone had received 98 reports of E. coli infections in August compared to 20 cases during the same period last year. The state’s health department has linked 43 of the E. coli cases to items sold at Wendy’s and is awaiting results on the other 55 cases, the agency said.


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