The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated their investigation information today into the developing E. coli O145 outbreak in Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee linked to shredded romaine lettuce sold by Freshway Foods.

To date, there are 23 confirmed and 7 probable cases related to this outbreak from MI, NY, OH, and TN.  Among the 30 patients with available information, 12 (40%) were hospitalized. Three patients have developed a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS).  Thankfully no deaths have been reported. 

Mounting evidence has implicated shredded romaine lettuce from one processing facility, Freshway Foods, as a source of infection in this outbreak.  This evidence includes the identification of the outbreak strain of E. coli O145 from an unopened package of shredded romaine lettuce obtained at an institution that received product from the processing facility linked to the outbreak. A case-control study in Michigan found a significant association between illness and consumption of romaine lettuce processed at the same facility that processed lettuce consumed by ill persons in New York, Ohio and Tennessee.

The breakdown of illnesses thus far by state is as follows:

  • MI (10 confirmed and 3 probable)
  • NY (4 confirmed and 3 probable)
  • OH (8 confirmed and 1 probable)
  • TN (1 confirmed)

Among the confirmed and probable cases with reported dates available, illnesses began between April 10, 2010 and April 26, 2010. Infected individuals range in age from 13 years old to 31 years old and the median age is 19 years. Sixty-six percent of patients are male.