This outbreak was declared over by the Centers for Food Safety and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 4, 2022. Please continue to enjoy romaine lettuce as part of your healthy lifestyle.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has updated its investigation notice regarding this outbreak of E. coli associated with an unknown food source.
By the close of this outbreak, 109 people were sickened in 6 states. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was not able to confirm that lettuce was the cause of the outbreak. This is partly because the Wendy’s meals eaten by sick people had similar ingredients. Additionally, there was no laboratory or traceback data that could confirm romaine as the source.
Wendy’s reacted quickly to prevent future illnesses by removing the romaine lettuce used on sandwiches from its menu. They indicated that other romaine lettuce used for salad menu items is of a different type.
Fortunately, Wendy’s restaurants have excellent traceback systems as do members of the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA). The LGMA and its members were working in close contact with government regulators to do everything possible to help them determine if the source of this outbreak is romaine and to prevent future illnesses.
It is believed that romaine lettuce used in the Wendy’s menu items consumed by sick people was of a specific type and came from limited suppliers in one production area. U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigators are working to isolate the source.
Please note that CDC did not advise people to stop consuming romaine or any other food.
The Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement food safety programs operating in California and Arizona cover over 90 percent of the lettuce and leafy greens consumed in the U.S. Under this program, farmers are audited regularly to verify they are following a set of rigorous food safety practices on their farms.