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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Meat thought to be E. coli culprit

So far eight families have contacted Marler Clark, and one lawsuit has been filed, over the Wendy’s ground beef E. coli outbreak in Marion County.
One family was hit twice when the two sons, a 4-year-old and a 23-month-old, became sick from E. coli. The 4-year-old was released last week from Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital, and the 23-month-old remained in fair condition Saturday night. Both had been on dialysis, after which patients can either recover or require transplants, depending on the severity of the condition.
As the Statesman Journal reports, three weeks after the largest E. coli outbreak in Marion County history, the investigation focuses on Wendy’s ground beef, said Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Health Division. The connection was made after a second Wendy’s restaurant in Tualatin was linked to the outbreak when an adult female was confirmed Sept. 2 as an E. coli victim. The DNA of the E. coli matched that of the Salem outbreak, confirming a common contamination source.
The lettuce link can be explained by cross contamination, which may have occurred because of improper food handling.
From interviews with Wendy’s employees, officials determined that a few workers had washed lettuce in a sink that had not been sanitized and previously contained utensils that had touched raw meat.