Wendy’s customers get sick, CDC investigates E.coli outbreak in four states

A general view of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell/

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Aug 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is investigating an E.coli bacteria outbreak in four states from an unknown food source, with many of those affected reported to have eaten sandwiches at Wendy’s Co ( WEN.O ) ).

Of the 37 sickened, 22 people reportedly ate Wendy’s romaine lettuce sandwiches in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania in the week before they became ill, the agency said Friday.

However, investigators have not yet confirmed whether romaine lettuce is the cause, and also whether the vegetable used in Wendy’s sandwiches was served or sold at other establishments.

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The burger chain said it is taking precautions to remove sandwich salad from its restaurants in the region. Nearly 1,100 of Wendy’s approximately 5,940 US restaurants are located in the four states.

The illness started between July 26 and August 8 and a total of 10 people have been hospitalized, three of whom in Michigan have developed a type of kidney failure.

E.coli bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Although many strains are harmless, certain types can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

The CDC said the exact number of people affected is likely higher and that the outbreak may not be limited to the four states.

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Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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