State health analysts are investigating whether a recent outbreak of E. coli illnesses is linked to food at Wendy’s restaurant.
On Friday, August 19, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services staff said there were 43 confirmed cases of E. coli illness in Michigan linked to a specific strain, O157.
Among these people, aged 6 to 94, their illnesses began from late July to early August. In addition, 56% of cases required hospitalization, four of whom were diagnosed with hemolytic uraemic syndrome, a serious complication of E. coli disease.
A state survey of Michigan cases showed more than 55% of people said they had eaten at a Wendy’s restaurant.
Health analysts say they are still investigating and have not identified any foods as being linked to the diseases. But they focus their attention on sandwiches topped with romaine lettuce.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Wendy’s is voluntarily removing romaine lettuce from sandwiches as a precaution. Wendy’s uses a different type of romaine lettuce for salads.
There is no recommendation to stop eating at Wendy’s.
Michigan counties with cases associated with E. coli include Allegan, Branch, Clinton, Genesee, Gratiot, Jackson, Kent, Macomb, Midland, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, Washtenaw and Wayne and the City of Detroit.
A larger investigation into the outbreak of E. coli includes the states of Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Health officials say the data shows the possible link to Wendy’s, but the problem could be broader than just one restaurant chain due to the distribution of food products.
State health and human services personnel say anyone with symptoms of E. coli infection should see a medical professional and determine if they should be tested.
Symptoms can vary, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea – often bloody, vomiting and fever.
Health officials say the best way to prevent infections is to wash your hands well, rinse fruits and vegetables under water and use good practices with raw meat, poultry, seafood. sea and eggs.
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