As of May 13, up to 30 people may now be sick from eating romaine lettuce recalled May 6 in an outbreak of E. coli.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting the numbers of sick people expanded into Tennessee May 12 with one confirmed illness from E. coli O145. In all, 23 people are confirmed sick with another seven probable cases in Michigan, New York, Ohio and Tennessee.
Freshway Foods, Sidney, Ohio, recalled romaine products under the Freshway Foods and Imperial Sysco brands May 6. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed May 10 that the outbreak of E. coli O145 linked to fresh romaine lettuce came from Freshway Foods.
The day after Freshway’s recall, Andrew Smith Co., Spreckels, was contacted by the FDA that it shipped lettuce from the same Yuma, Ariz., farm under investigation in the Freshway Foods case. Andrew Smith Co. recalled romaine lettuce May 7, some of which, Vaughan Foods, Moore, Okla., and a Massachusetts company. FDA said Andrew Smith Co. also supplied romaine to Freshway.
FDA was investigating the farm in Yuma as the common source of all the recalled romaine.
Vaughan Foods, which supplies packaged lettuce to foodservice operators, said lettuce with “use-by” dates of May 9 and May 10, went to restaurants and foodservice facilities and not retailers.
FDA said there are no known illnesses with the romaine lettuce distributed by Vaughan Foods or recalled by Andrew Smith Co., and the recalled romaine is out of commerce.
Freshway Foods also faces a lawsuit from Seattle-based attorney Bill Marler, who filed May 11, on behalf of a Columbus resident alleging the person became ill with an E. coli O145 infection after eating lettuce distributed by Freshway Foods, according to Food Safety News, owned by Marler’s law firm Marler Clark LLP.
The lawsuit names Freshway Foods as well as the grower and distributors of the contaminated lettuce as defendants, according to Food Safety News.