Great that the FDA and the Maryland Department of Health are out early with “Actionable” information.
The Maryland Department of Health is investigating a cluster of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157) infections among seven patients in Maryland. All reported eating Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad purchased from various Sam’s Club locations in Maryland. There has been one hospitalization and no deaths associated with these cases.
Consumers are advised not to eat Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad, lot #255406963, “Best By” date Oct. 31, 2019. Testing of unopened salad purchased by one of the patients identified the presence of E. coli O157 in the romaine lettuce. In addition to Sam’s Club, these salad bowls are distributed to many other retailers. The investigation is ongoing and additional laboratory testing is pending. There have been prior outbreaks of E. coli O157 linked to romaine lettuce.
And, for some breaking news via tweet – product tested positive:
It is too early to tell if the E. coli cases announced in Wisconsin are linked to the Maryland illnesses. Since November 13, Wisconsin officials say they are investigating 20 cases, three involving children. They say the cases are scattered across the state and are not isolated in any one region. The source remains a mystery. However, officials are treating it as an outbreak.
Dr. Larry Lutwick is an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire. He said he’s seen three cases of E. coli at his facility and believes they may be linked to the outbreak. He thinks his patients could have contracted the bacteria from lettuce. “In two of the three cases they suspected it was from a salad or salad ingredient,” Lutwick said.