Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2019 Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Linked to Romaine Lettuce Grown in Salinas Valley California

In November 2019 the CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in multiple states. The implicated contaminated product was romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley, California. On January 15, 2020 investigators declared the outbreak over. A total of 167 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from 27 states. A total of 85 hospitalizations were reported. Fifteen people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths were reported. Dates of illness onsets ranged from September 20, 2019 to December 21, 2019. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicated that romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region was contaminated. Consumers were advised to avoid all types of romaine including whole heads of romaine, organic romaine, hearts of romaine, romaine in salad wraps, and packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes which contain romaine. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services isolated the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in an unopened bag of Fresh Express brand Leafy Green Romaine collected from an ill person's home. Salinas, California was the source of the romaine identified in the bag. In November the Maryland Department of Health identified E. coli O157:H7 in romaine lettuce from an unopened package of Ready Pac Foods Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad collected from a sick person's home in Maryland.

  • Outbreak began:
  • September 2019
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Arizona, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, Washington, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Unknown
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Retail
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Ahold Bowl Chicken Caesar, Aldi Bistro Chicken Caesar Salad, Bistro Chicken Guacamole Bowl, Bistro Santa Fe, Bonduelle Salad Kits , Bowl Bistro Caesar, Bowl GB Chicken Caesar, GB Southwest, Domino's GB Caesar, Fresh Express, Kit Grill Santa Fe Style, Marketside Salad Kits and Bowls, Missa Bay, LLC, Sam's Salad Kits, Signature CafĂ© Salad Kits and Bowls, Signature Farms Salad Kits and Bowls
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 167
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 167
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 85
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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