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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli O145 Outbreak in Michigan, New York and Ohio linked to lettuce?

E. coli outbreaks, primarily of the O157 variety, have been associated with lettuce or spinach, specifically “pre-washed” and “ready-to-eat” varieties, and are by no means a new phenomenon. By way of illustration:

August 1993 – E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to a salad bar; 53 reported cases in Washington State

July 1995 – Lettuce (leafy green; red; romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 70 reported cases in Montana

September 1995 – Lettuce (romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 20 reported cases in Idaho

September 1995 – Lettuce (iceberg) E. coli O157:H7; 30 reported cases in Maine

October 1995 – Lettuce (iceberg; unconfirmed) E. coli O157:H7; 11 reported cases in Ohio

May-June 1996 – Lettuce (mesclun; red leaf) E. coli O157:H7; 61 reported cases in Connecticut, Illinois, and New York

May 1998 – Salad E. coli O157:H7; two reported cases in California

February.-March 1999 – Lettuce (iceberg) E. coli O157:H7; 72 reported cases in Nebraska

July-August 2002 – Lettuce (romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 29 reported cases in Washington and Idaho

October 2003-May 2004 – Lettuce (mixed salad) E. coli O157:H7; 57 reported cases in California

April 2004 – Spinach E. coli O157:H7; 16 reported cases in California

September 2005 – Lettuce (romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 32 reported cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oregon

September 2006 – Spinach E. coli O157:H7; 205 case (five deaths) nationwide

November 2006 – Lettuce E. coli O157:H7; New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania; 71 sickened

December 2006 – Lettuce E. coli O157:H7; Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin; 81 ill

May 2008 – Lettuce E. coli O157:H7; Washington; 9 ill

But we all know that the list is not fully complete, nor does not end there.  There have been may others sickened in produce-related outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and other dangerous bugs.  For a good look at "leafy green" outbreaks, check out www.outbreakdatabase.com.