Wendy's removes lettuce from sandwiches in at least four states as part of E. coli outbreak

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After dozens of people have fallen ill in an E. coli outbreak across multiple states, officials on Friday said many sick people reported eating Wendy's sandwiches with romaine lettuce.

There have been 37 illnesses and 10 hospitalizations associated with the outbreak, which is currently contained to Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC on Friday said "many sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants" in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania before falling ill, though a specific food “has not yet been confirmed as the source of this outbreak.”

As a precaution, Wendy’s is removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from its restaurants in the region. The fast food chain uses a different kind of romaine in its salads.

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“Investigators are working to confirm whether romaine lettuce is the source of this outbreak, and whether romaine lettuce used in Wendy’s sandwiches was served or sold at other businesses,” the CDC confirmed.

Wendy's in a statement to USA TODAY said it is "fully cooperating with public health authorities on their ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported in certain midwestern states."

"As a company, we are committed to upholding our high standards of food safety and quality," Wendy's said in the statement.

Officials are not currently advising that people avoid eating at Wendy’s restaurants or that people stop purchasing or eating romaine lettuce. A 2019 romaine lettuce e.coli outbreak eventually led to more than 100 people infected across 23 states, the CDC has said.

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Two people have reported being sick in Pennsylvania, 19 have reported being sick in Ohio, one person in Indiana and 15 people in Michigan. The cases have all been reported since July 26.

Health officials said people should call their healthcare providers if they have severe E. coli symptoms, which can include diarrhea, a fever higher than 102 degrees, bloody diarrhea, signs of dehydration and more.

Symptoms usually begin three to four days after swallowing the bacteria, and most people recover within five to seven days, the CDC says.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: CDC: Wendy's lettuce linked to E. coli outbreak in four states