The CDC says it has not yet determined the source of an outbreak of E. coli that has so far sickened people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Washington and Wisconsin. The agency is coordinating with public health and regulatory officials in those states, along with the FDA, in its investigation into the outbreak.
Seven victims have been hospitalized, including two people who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
One food product - Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad – may be the source of the E. coli that affected several people in Maryland, but ill people in other states have not reported eating this particular salad. Health officials in those states are conducting interviews with sick people to find out what they ate.
The Maryland Department of Health is conducting laboratory testing to determine if the E. coli found in the salad is genetically similar to the E. coli found in sick people in this outbreak.
Here’s the CDC’s advice to consumers, retailers and restaurants:
- Do not eat or sell Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salads with a “Best By” date of October 31, 2019.
- If you have this salad at home, do not eat it and throw it away.
- Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection.
About E. coli:
- People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.
- Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
- Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
If you have questions about cases in a particular state, call that state’s health department.