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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Health Dept. reports ninth case of E. coli

The number of confirmed cases of illness attributed to E. coli bacteria is now nine.

The Orange County Health Department received a report of a possible E. coli suspect late Friday. The individual had signs and symptoms consistent with E.coli during the time period under investigation and had McAlister’s restaurant in Chapel Hill — which the department has identified as the source of the outbreak — as a common link. Confirmation from the individual’s physician was received Monday.

The department said in a news release that the new case “does not indicate that there is a continuing problem.” The newest case occurred at the same time as the other eight incidents. One case remains pending, and the department expects final results from UNC Hospitals by next Wednesday.

Public health officials are finalizing food histories with the confirmed cases that are linked to McAlister’s as well as with people who ate at the Franklin Street restaurant during the time period in question but did not become ill. The data will be analyzed to determine whether a particular food item may have been the source of the infection.