An E. coli outbreak has forced Wendy's to remove the lettuce from its sandwiches in four states. Friday, the chain announced it would temporarily remove the romaine lettuce it uses on sandwiches in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigate the outbreak.
According to a notice posted by the CDC, 37 people have fallen ill with 10 being hospitalized as a result of the outbreak. Still, the agency says it is not advising people to avoid the chain, given the precautionary measures implemented.
"Based on this information, Wendy's is taking the precautionary measure of removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from restaurants in that region," the CDC said in its statement. "Wendy's uses a different type of romaine lettuce for salads. Investigators are working to confirm whether romaine lettuce is the source of this outbreak, and whether romaine lettuce used in Wendy's sandwiches was served or sold at other businesses. Wendy's is fully cooperating with the investigation."
The notice also says that at this time, there's no evidence to link this same outbreak with to romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores or other restaurants.
So far, the chain has only removed the romaine from the sandwiches as a different kind of romaine lettuce is used in its salads per a statement it released Friday.
"We are fully cooperating with public health authorities on their ongoing investigation of the regional E. coli outbreak reported in certain midwestern states," Wendy's added. "While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we are taking the precaution of removing the sandwich lettuce from 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."
Reuters reports the chain has roughly 1,100 locations in the four states affected by the outbreak.