Suspected Multi State Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak


The most recent update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened 24 people across 15 states. Officials have narrowed the source of the outbreak to leafy greens, tests show similarities to an ongoing outbreak in Canada linked to romaine lettuce that has sickened 41 with 1 death.

Of the 24 people sick in the U.S., nine have been hospitalized and one has died. Two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The onset range of illness is from November 15 – December 12. Infections have been reported from California (4), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). 

Through interviews conducted by federal and state officials, the CDC has identified the likely source of the outbreak as leafy greens. However, no specific type of leafy green had been identified. Currently, the CDC is not recommending that U.S. residents avoid any food because of the short shelf life of leafy greens.

Symptoms of E. coli include:

·       Severe abdominal cramping

·       Loss of appetite

·       Diarrhea (often bloody)

·       Fatigue

·       Fever

If you start to experience symptoms, seek medical attention and contact your local health department immediately.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued its first announcement about an E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on Dec 11. In a Dec 21 update, it said it is so far investigating 41 cases from five provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. It urged the public to avoid eating romaine lettuce until more is known about the contamination.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources