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Maryland Department of Health Investigating E. Coli Cluster

November 19th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Department of Health is investigating a cluster of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157) infections among seven patients in Maryland. All reported eating Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad purchased from various Sam’s Club locations in Maryland. There has been one hospitalization and no deaths associated with these cases.  

 

Consumers are advised not to eat Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad, lot #255406963, “Best By” date Oct. 31, 2019. Testing of unopened salad purchased by one of the patients identified the presence of E. coli O157 in the romaine lettuce. In addition to Sam’s Club, these salad bowls are distributed to many other retailers. The investigation is ongoing and additional laboratory testing is pending. There have been prior outbreaks of E. coli O157 linked to romaine lettuce.

 

Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some people may have a fever. Most people with an E. coli O157 infection start feeling sick three to four days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illnesses can start anywhere from one to 10 days after exposure. 

 

Most people recover within five to seven days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. E. coli O157 infections can lead to serious complications, like hemolytic uremic syndrome, which may be fatal.  

 

Consumers are advised to seek medical advice if they have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, blood in the stool or ongoing vomiting.

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