FDA Reports East Coast E. coli Outbreak Is Over
Outbreak linked to iceberg lettuce served at Taco Bell restaurants sickened 71 in five states
FRIDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in the Northeast United States that was traced to iceberg lettuce served in Taco Bell restaurants appears to be over, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A total of 71 people were affected in five states, including 53 hospitalizations and eight cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome.
"The agency is aware of the outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 at Taco John's restaurants in Iowa and Minnesota, and is monitoring these closely in cooperation with state health authorities," according to an FDA statement. "Based on genetic fingerprinting of the E. coli, these outbreaks do not appear at this time to be related to the Taco Bell outbreak."
During the outbreak, the cases peaked in the last week of November and early December. States with affected patients included Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as one case in South Carolina in an individual who ate at a Pennsylvania restaurant.
The FDA and other federal agencies are still investigating farms that may have been the source of the contamination.