Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

As of May 9, 2018, there are six Canadian cases of E. coli O157 that are genetically similar to the U.S. outbreak linked to romaine lettuce coming from the Yuma growing region in the U.S. The six Canadian illnesses are reported in four provinces: British Columbia (1), Alberta (1), Saskatchewan (2), and Ontario (2). Individuals became sick between late March and mid-April 2018. One of the Canadian cases was hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported in Canada. Individuals who became ill were between 13 and 68 years of age. The majority of cases (67%) were female.

In the Canadian investigation, among the six cases, most of the individuals who became sick reported having eaten romaine lettuce at home, or in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains, before their illnesses occurred. Two Canadians did report traveling to the U.S. before getting sick and eating romaine lettuce while they were there.

If it is determined that contaminated romaine lettuce is in the Canadian market, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling the product as required. Currently there are no Food Recall Warnings associated with this outbreak.

As of May 15 2018, there are 172 cases in 32 states: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (5), North Dakota (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (21), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (3).

Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29. Sixty-five percent of ill people are female. Of 157 people with information available, 75 (48%) have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. One death was reported from California.

The last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season is over. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in people’s homes, stores, or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life. The most recent illnesses reported to CDC started when romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, and in peoples’ homes.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner,Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

To date, Marler Clark has filed six lawsuits in relation to the nationwide E. coli O157:H7 outbreak: one in New Jersey against Panera, one in Pennsylvania against Freshway, two in Arizona against Red Lobster, one in California against Papa Murphy’s, and one in Georgia against Texas Roadhouse. Marler Clark currently represents 86 people sickened in the outbreak, including 11 who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), acute kidney failure.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

To date, Marler Clark has filed six lawsuits in relation to the nationwide E. coli O157:H7 outbreak: one in New Jersey against Panera, one in Pennsylvania against Freshway, two in Arizona against Red Lobster, one in California against Papa Murphy’s, and one in Georgia against Texas Roadhouse. Marler Clark currently represents 86 people sickened in the outbreak, including 11 who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), acute kidney failure.

As of May 15 2018, there are 172 cases in 32 states: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (5), North Dakota (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (21), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (3).

Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29. Sixty-five percent of ill people are female. Of 157 people with information available, 75 (48%) have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. One death was reported from California.

The last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season is over. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in people’s homes, stores, or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life. The most recent illnesses reported to CDC started when romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, and in peoples’ homes.

As of May 9, 2018, there are six Canadian cases of E. coli O157 that are genetically similar to the U.S. outbreak linked to romaine lettuce coming from the Yuma growing region in the U.S. The six Canadian illnesses are reported in four provinces: British Columbia (1), Alberta (1), Saskatchewan (2), and Ontario (2). Individuals became sick between late March and mid-April 2018. One of the Canadian cases was hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported in Canada. Individuals who became ill were between 13 and 68 years of age. The majority of cases (67%) were female.

In the Canadian investigation, among the six cases, most of the individuals who became sick reported having eaten romaine lettuce at home, or in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains, before their illnesses occurred. Two Canadians did report traveling to the U.S. before getting sick and eating romaine lettuce while they were there.

If it is determined that contaminated romaine lettuce is in the Canadian market, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling the product as required. Currently there are no Food Recall Warnings associated with this outbreak.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner,Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Approximately 70 individuals have reported illness to the Health Department.

The Newton County Health Department is continuing to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella. The initial outbreak was reported to our office on May 4th due to illness among attendees at a closed, invitation only event held in Newton County on April 28th. During the process of investigating this event, the caterer that provided food for this event, Plain Nuts Catering & Deli, was investigated per protocol. All food and drink items along with other exposure possibilities were fully investigated. A survey was developed and sent out to event attendees to gather information on exposures and subsequent illness.

During the process of investigating this outbreak, additional cases of gastrointestinal illness including one confirmed case of Salmonella, was reported among individuals in who did not attend the event but had consumed food prepared by the same caterer.

On May 15th, illnesses, including a confirmed case of Salmonella, among individuals attending a separate function held on May 9th in Social Circle, GA were also reported. A survey was developed and distributed to again collect exposure and illness information. Investigation of these reported illnesses also identified food prepared by the same caterer as a potential source of exposure. Exposure and illness information from this second cluster of illness is still under investigation; however, out of the abundance of caution, the catering facility has closed until a full investigation can be conducted. The last exposure date reported among ill individuals was May 9th. There is no indication of an ongoing threat of Salmonella infections related to this outbreak.

Plain Nuts Catering & Deli has been fully cooperative with all Health Department requests and has provided all requested information. Additional on-site training has been provided to all staff and additional screening of food service staff is underway. In addition, the facility has followed the Health Department recommendations of conducting a full enhanced cleaning of the facility prior to re-opening.

Salmonella is a bacteria that commonly causes foodborne illness. “CDC  estimates Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses.” Additional information about Salmonella and foodborne illness, specifically relating to food safety, can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonella-food/.

The Health Department investigates all reports of illness on an ongoing basis and encourages individuals to report illness to allow for prompt investigation. Illnesses can be reported by calling our Foodborne Illness Hotline at 770-339-4BUG. In addition, confirmed Salmonella infections are reportable to Public Health in GA. If you have questions regarding your health, please contact your physician. If you have general questions about Salmonella, please contact our office at 770-339-4260 and ask to speak with the Epidemiologist on call.

Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clarkhave represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritisor Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

ATLANTA, Georgia – A 6th lawsuit was filed today in the Northern District Court of Atlanta, Georgia on behalf of William Lopresti as a parent of his two daugters who were infected with E. coli O157:H7 from romaine lettuce. The lawsuit was filed against Texas Roadhouse, Inc. by Marler Clark, the food safety law firm and Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP, a local Atlanta firm.

On April 8, 2018, Mr. Lopresti’s daughters consumed romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region while eating a side salad served at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant located at 2475 Barrett Creek Pkwy in Marietta, Georgia. Two days later they both began to experience symptoms of fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. On April 13, Mr. Lopresti took his daughter “E.L.” to the emergency room, where she was admitted to the hospital for ongoing treatment. E.L. was released 5 days later but continues to recover as of the date of the complaint.

“Our goal in filing lawsuits against the place of purchase of the contaminated romaine is to force the disclosure of where in the chain of distribution – grower, shipper or processor – the E. coli contamination occurred,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark.  “Only when we find out where the contamination occurred can we do something to prevent the next outbreak,” added Marler.

To date, Marler Clark has filed six complaints in relation to the nationwide E. coli O157:H7 outbreak including this complaint against Texas Roadhouse, along with one in New Jersey against Panera, one in Pennsylvania against Fareway, two in Arizona against Red Lobster, and one in California against Papa Murphy’s. Marler Clark currently represents 86 people sickened in the outbreak, including 11 who developed acute kidney failure.

According to the CDC, as of May 15, 2018, 172 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 32 states.  Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (5), North Dakota (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (21), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (3). One death was reported from California.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to May 2, 2018. Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29. Sixty-five percent of ill people are female. Of 157 people with information available, 75 (48%) have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner,Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Has there been a salmonella outbreak in Covington/Newton County?

Yes.  We are currently investigating a confirmed Salmonella outbreak in Newton County.

When did it begin?

The outbreak was reported to our office on May 4th.  The investigation is ongoing.

Where did it originate/what is the cause?

We are still investigating the outbreak including identifying the source and commonalities among those that are ill.

How many people have been affected?

Approximately 70 individuals have reported illness to the Health Department.

Have there been any serious cases/hospitalizations?

Many individuals have sought care with their primary physicians and/or urgent care.  At this point we are aware of four individuals who were hospitalized due to their illness.

According to the CDC, as of May 15, 2018, 172 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 32 states.  Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (5), North Dakota (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (21), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (3).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to May 2, 2018.

Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29. Sixty-five percent of ill people are female. Of 157 people with information available, 75 (48%) have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

One death was reported from California.

Illnesses that occurred after April 21, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

According to the FDA, the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season is over. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in people’s homes, stores, or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life. The most recent illnesses reported to CDC started when romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, and in peoples’ homes.

The FDA has identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arizona, as the grower and sole source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people in an Alaskan correctional facility, but has not determined where in the supply chain the contamination occurred.

The traceback investigation indicates that the illnesses associated with this outbreak cannot be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor. While traceback continues, the FDA will focus on trying to identify factors that contributed to contamination of romaine across multiple supply chains.  The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching consumers.

As I said to Time yesterday:

William Marler, a Seattle-based attorney who specializes in food safety, is representing Fitzgerald and her son, as well as 86 other people who have been sickened in the current outbreak. He has six cases open at the moment, against establishments in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and California, including Panera Bread and Red Lobster. The goal, he says, is to work backward by suing restaurants that have sold tainted products, in hopes of learning who supplied the lettuce to these eateries. Marler says this strategy has brought him to Freshway, a supplier serving the Midwest and East Coast, and ideally will lead him to the as-yet-unidentified farm or farms in Yuma, Ariz., that are responsible for the outbreak.

“I’m the Mueller of the E. coli outbreak,” Marler says. “It’s a process not dissimilar to a prosecuting attorney working their way toward the Oval Office.”

According to press reports, the listeriosis epidemic is under control now that meat products from Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken have been recalled, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told Parliament on Tuesday. “Since the recall, we have had fewer than five cases a week in the past five weeks compared to 40 a week before the recall,” Motsoaledi said during his R205bn Budget Vote in Parliament.

According to the NICD report released today, 1,033 laboratory confirmed cases (728 ill, 204 dead) have been reported from 01 January 2017 to 10 May 2018. The number of reported cases has decreased since the implicated products were recalled on 04 March 2018.

Neonates ≤28 days of age are the most affected age group, followed by adults aged 15 – 49 years of age.

Most cases have been reported from Gauteng Province (59%, 605/1 033), followed by Western Cape (13%, 130/1 033) and KwaZulu-Natal (7%, 75/1 033) provinces.

The findings of the NICD are in summary:

  • 92% of clinical isolates taken from case-patients belong to listeria sequence type 6 (ST6) and are genetically similar confirming that a single strain of listeria is responsible for the outbreak
  • 86% of patients interviewed reported eating polony in the month before falling ill with listeriosis
  • The isolates taken from patients and from the Enterprise Foods’ Polokwane production facility (the post-cooking area and final production clips and casing) are 99.99% similar, linking the L. monocytogenes ST6 strains
  • 7 samples of ready-to-eat processed meat products taken at the Enterprise Factory in Polokwane on February 15, 2018 tested positive for the ST6 outbreak strain. The samples were taken by the NICD accompanied by two WHO food safety experts.

According to the NICD, these findings are irrefutable evidence that:

  • Enterprise Foods and by extension Tiger Brands Limited are the source of the listeria outbreak.
  • The ST6 strain of Listeria responsible for the outbreak was not just found in the environment of the Enterprise Foods Polokwane operations as some commentators suggest, but also on the final product. NICD Press Statement.

To Tiger Brands’ credit, it has been transparent with its test results.  Its transparency support of the NICD findings is hopeful for its customers that suffered as a result of the Listeria-tainted product.  Tiger Brands should be commended for its willingness to provide the results in a public forum.

Here is the Tiger Brands’ announcement in full:

Results of Independent Tests carried out in respect of the presence of Listeria monocytogenes ST6 type (“LST6”) Shareholders are referred to the SENS announcement issued by the Company on 5 March 2018, relating to an order issued by the National Consumer Commission for the Company to conduct a recall of certain identified Enterprise products. In that announcement, it was stated that in a batch of one of its products tested by the Company on 14 February 2018, the presence of the ST6 strain could not be confirmed and that the relevant samples had been sent to an external laboratory for the identification of the strain. The test results were received on 15 March 2018, but these had proved inconclusive and, as a result, the samples were sent for further re-testing.

The purpose of this announcement is to update shareholders on the results of the independent laboratory re-testing which was carried out in respect of the presence of LST6 in the above samples which were manufactured at the Enterprise Polokwane processing facility. On 24 April 2018, Tiger Brands received confirmation of the presence of LST6 in these samples. As reported previously, we have been actively engaging with the Department of Health and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases on our findings and will continue to collaborate with them on the actions taken to date to actively address our findings.

The Enterprise facilities in Polokwane, Pretoria and Germiston still remain closed while remedial work continues. An arrangement has been concluded between Pork Packers (which is based in Clayville) and our pig suppliers to contract slaughter on their behalf with effect from 2 May 2018.

“Now it is time to take care of the victims and to work with government, the industry and the public to see that an outbreak like this never, ever occurs again,” said, US Food Safety Attorney, William Marler, who is acting as a consultant to the South Africa Listeria Class Action.

  • Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County farm. Throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.
    • These eggs were sold under multiple brand names, including Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Publix, Sunshine Farms, and Sunups.
    • Check egg cartons for the following numbers: P-1065 (the plant number) and another set of numbers between 011 and 102 (the Julian date), or, for Publix and Sunups egg cartons, plant number P-1359D and Julian date 048A or 049A with Best By dates of APR 02 and APR 03.
    • Visit the FDA website for a list of recalled products.
    • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where recalled eggs were stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
  • CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections linked to Rose Acre Farms shell eggs.
    • Thirty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from nine states.
    • 11 people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicates that shell eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms are the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

The CDC updated the outbreak numbers of those confirmed E. coli around the United States, adding 6 from California, 1 from Florida, 1 from Georgia, 1 from Illinois, 1 from Massachusetts, 10 from Missouri, 1 from New Jersey, 2 from New York, 2 from North Dakota, 1 from Texas, 1 from Washington, and 1 from Wisconsin. To date, there are 149 confirmed cases, 17 with HUS, and 1 death.  There are a reported six illnesses in Canada.

Marler Clark currently represents 64 individuals affected by the outbreak, 10 of whom developed HUS.

Marler Clark filed the first lawsuit as a result of the outbreak against Freshway Inc. the supplier for Panera Bread in New Jersey. Marler Clark has filed three additional lawsuits, one in Pennsylvania against Freshway and two in Arizona against Red Lobster.  A additional lawsuit will be filed in Federal Court in California on Friday against Papa Murphys.

“I am hoping through the litigation to track the E. coil contamination to its source in Yuma. If we can find the source and the cause, we may well be able to prevent a similar outbreak in the future,” said Bill Marler, managing partner at Marler Clark.

Bill Marler has been at the VTEC conference this past week in Florence, Italy with the top representatives of the CDC, FDA, and world experts on E. coli. Bill was a keynote speaker at the conference, outlining his 25 years of E. coli litigation experience.  Bill is presently in South Africa consulting on a 1,000 person Listeria outbreak.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

At least 132 sick from 27 states.

At least 55 hospitalized.

At least 16 with HUS.

1 death has been reported.

Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29.

At least 63% are female.

As of May 2, the CDC reported 121 cases from 25 states, Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (24), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (20), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (6), and Wisconsin (1), not including the case from North Dakota, which will be added to the outbreak summary in the next update.

In addition, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) (Team Diarrhea) reports North Dakota’s first case of E. coli infection associated with romaine lettuce originating from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. The NDDoH has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other state and local health officials in this national investigation. A second case in ND possibly associated with the outbreak is still under investigation.

In addition, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)is working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and public health agencies in other states to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157 infections associated with eating romaine lettuce.

Information on the national outbreak can be found on CDC’s and FDA’s websites: CDC: E. coli and FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Likely Linked to Romaine Lettuce from Yuma Growing Region.

Ten cases of E. coli O157 infection in Minnesota residents have recently been identified and linked to the multi-state outbreak. Illness onset dates range from April 20 through May 2. The cases are from both metro and greater Minnesota counties; 90 percent are female. Three cases were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal complication that can include kidney failure and other severe problems.

All of the Minnesota cases interviewed by public health investigators reported exposure to romaine lettuce. Reported exposure locations include restaurants, grocery stores, and residential facilities. MDH is working with MDA to further investigate these exposures.

“Do not eat, buy, or sell romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region,” said Kirk Smith, manager of the Foodborne, Waterborne, Vectorborne, and Zoonotic Diseases section. “The Yuma growing region includes part of western Arizona and extends into the Imperial Valley of southeastern California but does not include Salinas Valley or other growing regions in California.” Product from the Yuma growing region should no longer be on sale; however, individuals should check their refrigerators for romaine lettuce that may have been grown in the Yuma region.

Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O157 typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever. People typically become ill two to five days after exposure, but this period can range from one to eight days. Most people recover in five to 10 days. However, E. coli O157 infections sometimes lead to HUS. Those most at risk of developing complications from E. coli O157 include children younger than 10, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

Diarrhea associated with E. coli O157 infections should not be treated with antibiotics, as this practice might promote the development of HUS. Anyone who believes they may have developed an E. coli O157 infection should contact their health care provider.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clarkhave represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smithand Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coliinfection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.