CDC: E. coli outbreak could be connected to popular fast food chain

DAYTON — At least 30 people are sick with E. coli across four states, including Ohio.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Wendy’s to remove lettuce from sandwiches in 3 states due to E. coli concerns

The other states are Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.

The outbreak could be connected to a popular fast-food chain, Wendy’s, according to the CDC.

The CDC is not advising that people avoid eating at Wendy’s restaurants or stop eating romaine lettuce.

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott got a burger from a Wendy’s Saturday night and says it has all your typical toppings including cheese, onions, tomatoes, but one of those toppings is not supposed to be there.

That topping is romaine lettuce.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: More E. coli cases reported in Ohio; Outbreak possibly linked to fast food chain lettuce

Over the course of two weeks, the CDC believes it has possibly spread E. coli to least 37 people in four states.

“That’s wild and that’s gross,” said Maya Drayton, University of Dayton student.

Nineteen of those people infected with E. coli are right here in Ohio.

“Wendy’s is like the top three fast food chains you can go to,” said Jahkill Ball. “That’s a lot of people it’s gonna hit. That’s insane, it’s crazy.”

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The chain says they have over 400 locations in Ohio.

The company has issued a statement in response to this:

We are fully cooperating with public health authorities on their ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported in certain midwestern states. While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we are taking the precaution of discarding and replacing the sandwich lettuce from some restaurants in that region. The lettuce that we use in our salads is different, and is not affected by this action. As a company, we are committed to upholding our high standards of food safety and quality,” It reads.

But at two of the Wendy’s NewsCenter 7 visited, romaine lettuce was still be served in their sandwiches.

Camyrn Justice, a student at the University of Dayton, said it’s concerning.

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E. coli is a type of bacteria that can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and in some cases be life-threatening, according to the CDC.

Residents say they have other fast-food options other than Wendy’s.

“We have Panera, we have Chipotle,” Jahkill Ball said. “But Wendy’s would not be the spot to go at all.”

Others McDermott spoke to agreed.

“I might take a break from that,” Bransah said.

Some said they would still risk going through the drive-thru.

“I’m going to eat my Wendy’s,” UD student Emma Mason said. “If I’m dead, I lived a good life.”

In the statement issued by Wendy’s, it said the lettuce used for salads is not the same type used on sandwiches.

Salads are still being sold at Wendy’s locations in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.