Many customers have fallen ill from the bacteria in four states.
Wendy's Burger
Credit: Courtesy of Brand

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that there have been 37 cases of people falling ill from E. coli, including 10 hospitalizations, in four states: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. While the source has not yet been confirmed, the CDC stated that "many sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy's restaurants" in the affected states before showing symptoms of illness.

The official investigation is still active, and while there is yet to be a formal recall, Wendy's has removed romaine lettuce from its sandwiches at restaurants in the impacted regions. Because of Wendy's full cooperation with the investigation, the CDC is not advising that people avoid eating at Wendy's locations or romaine lettuce in general.

"Wendy's is taking the precautionary measure of removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from restaurants in this region," the CDC explained in the investigation notice. "At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants or in people's homes is linked to this outbreak."

Wendy's has not stopped serving their salads, however, as the restaurants use a different type of romaine for their sandwiches and salads. 

Since July 26, 19 cases of E. coli have been reported in Ohio, 15 in Michigan, two in Pennsylvania and one in Indiana. Severe E. coli symptoms can include long-term diarrhea, high fever, vomiting and signs of dehydration, including dizziness and dry mouth and throat. 

Call a health care professional immediately if you are experiencing any of these serious symptoms. And by reporting your illness to a local or state health department and writing down what you ate in the week before you got sick, you can help public health officials solve this outbreak.