Freshway Foods Lettuce Recalled for E. coli O145 Contamination; E. coli O145 Outbreak Tops 60

An outbreak of E. coli O145 that has sickened over 60 people in three states appears to be due to contaminated romaine lettuce from Freshway Foods. Sidney-based Freshway is recalling lettuce products that were distributed to wholesale, food service, and salad bar outlets. The FDA press release lists all recalled items, which are branded under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco names.

The outbreak of E. coli O145 has been clustered around colleges in three towns; students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State University in Columbus, and Daemen College in Buffalo have all fallen ill.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that lettuce distribution through campus food service has made students ill,” said safe food advocate and attorney Bill Marler. In 2008, students in the Pacific Northwest were sickened under very similar circumstances, and some of those victims are still struggling to regain their health.”

E. coli outbreaks in leafy green vegetables have been on the rise. The Center for Science the public interest reports that between 1990 and 1998, fully 25 percent of all E. coli outbreaks were due to leafy greens.