Two of the hospitalized patients developed a type of renal failure – hemolytic uremic syndrome – known to be associated with this specific type of bacteria, E. coli O157: H7.
The bacterium produces a toxin that causes symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps, usually within days of eating the insect. This is usually resolved within a week, but can sometimes get worse and last longer.
Maryland health officials are waiting to see if E. coli found in a sealed package of a Ready Pac chicken Caesar salad in a patient's home is genetically related to the bacteria that causes the outbreak. While patients in Maryland report eating this particular brand, those in other states do not. CDC recommends that people not eat or sell this particular product with an expiration date of October 31.
A statement issued Wednesday by Bonduelle Fresh Americas said the salad being investigated is ready for Pac Foods Bistro Chicken Produced Without Antibiotics Caesar Salad 2 / 6.25oz, lot no. 255406963, UPC # 7774527249. It was sold only at Sam's Club, the company said.
"We continue to work with all regulatory agencies to trace the source of this contamination as quickly as possible to reduce potential impacts to consumers," the company said in its statement, adding that it tests all of its hardwoods and has had no positive results. test results for E. coli O157: H7 during the period.
CDC is still investigating to see if other products may be connected to the outbreak.