UPDATE 8/23: Wood TV 8 reports the number of E. coli cases linked to Wendy's lettuce is growing in Michigan. 

Initially it was reported 15 people in Michigan had become ill.  

As of Monday, August 22, Michigan had a total of 45 E. Coli cases, with ten of those cases in Kent County, and six in Ottawa County.

Cathy Armstrong with the Kent County Health Department tells Wood TV 8 the number of cases is expected to increase,

“We have gotten some cases towards the end of last week so we don’t believe that it’s completely over yet."

Original Story 8/23: Your burgers from Wendy's won't come with lettuce for the time being.

E.Coli Outbreak in Four States Linked to Wendy's Lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it is investigating an E. coli outbreak in four states, including Michigan. While a specific food has not been tied to the outbreak, many sick people have reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants in the Midwest before becoming ill.

So far at least 37 people have gotten sick and ten have been hospitalized. At least 15 people in Michigan have become ill.

According to the CDC,

The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and this outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.

Wendy's is temporarily removing lettuce from sandwiches at restaurants in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

Wendy's said in a statement,

We are fully cooperating with public health authorities on their ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported in certain midwestern states. While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we are taking the precaution of removing the sandwich lettuce from restaurants in that region. The lettuce that we use in our salads is different, and is not affected by this action. As a company, we are committed to upholding our high standards of food safety and quality.

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants, or in people’s homes is linked to this outbreak. The CDC is continuing to investigate and will provide an update if other foods to avoid are identified.

What To Do If You Think You Have E. Coli

The CDC recommends you call your doctor right away if you are experiencing the below symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up

You can also help the outbreak investigation by reporting your illness to your local health department.

Find more information on E. coli here.

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