In July and August of 1999, at least 15 people contracted E. coli infections after eating at Ohio KFC restaurants. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) testing on isolates obtained from culture-confirmed E. coli outbreak victims matched, and investigators from the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were able to identify coleslaw as the source of the outbreak.
The E. coli outbreak investigation led to the conclusion that three particular food-handling errors could have been the source of E. coli contamination in the coleslaw: inclusion of outer cabbage leaves, insufficient washing of cabbage, and the use of unpeeled carrots in the coleslaw.
Marler Clark filed an E. coli lawsuit against KFC on behalf of the woman in May of 2000. The E. coli lawyers resolved her claim in 2001.