Pizza Ranch Linked to Multistate E. coli Outbreak


The outbreak started in December, mainly among people who had eaten at the Iowa-based chain’s restaurants.

The CDC reports that 13 people were sickened in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Nine of the people recently had eaten at Pizza Ranches. 

Two children, in Kansas and Nebraska, suffered kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome – HUS).

The investigation has focused on a dry dough mix used to make desserts.

E. coli O157:H7 was identified for the first time at the CDC in 1975, but it was not until seven years later, in 1982, that E. coli O157:H7 was conclusively determined to be a cause of enteric disease. Following outbreaks of foodborne illness that involved several cases of bloody diarrhea, E. coli O157:H7 was firmly associated with hemorrhagic colitis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 1999 that 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 occur each year in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are hospitalized, and 60 people die as a direct result of E. coli O157:H7 infections and complications. The majority of infections are thought to be foodborne-related, although E. coli O157:H7 accounts for less than 1% of all foodborne illness.

E. coli O157:H7 bacteria are believed to mostly live in the intestines of cattle but have also been found in the intestines of chickens, deer, sheep, goats, and pigs. E. coli O157:H7 does not make the animals that carry it ill; the animals are merely the reservoir for the bacteria.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a severe, life-threatening complication of an E. coli bacterial infection that was first described in 1955, and is now recognized as the most common cause of acute kidney failure in childhood. E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for over 90% of the cases of HUS that develop in North America. In fact, some researchers now believe that E. coli O157:H7 is the only cause of HUS in children. HUS develops when the toxin from E. coli bacteria, known as Shiga-like toxin (SLT), enters cells lining the large intestine. The Shiga-toxin triggers a complex cascade of changes in the blood. Cellular debris accumulates within the body’s tiny blood vessels and there is a disruption of the inherent clot-breaking mechanisms. The formation of micro-clots in the blood vessel-rich kidneys leads to impaired kidney function and can cause damage to other major organs.

Contact the Marler Clark E. coli Attorneys

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection after consuming contaminated food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, you can contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation. Marler Clark is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and other foodborne illnesses. The law firm has represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections, and is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.

You can fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 866-770-2032. There is no cost to you.

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