2022 E. coli Outbreak Linked with Unknown Food Source

Illustration with a microscope and text reading Investigation Notice

Posted October 4, 2022

This outbreak is over. Learn what you can do to protect yourself from getting sick from E. coli.

Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 109
  • Hospitalizations: 52
  • Deaths: 0
  • States: 6
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Closed
Illustration of E. coli pathogen
Source of the Outbreak

More than 80% of sick people who were interviewed by public health officials reported eating at Wendy’s restaurants in several states before getting sick. Many of them ate burgers and sandwiches with romaine lettuce, but the specific ingredient that caused the outbreak could not be confirmed.

During an outbreak, investigators work to collect three types of data to identify the contaminated food, but this outbreak ended before enough information could be gathered to determine the source of the outbreak.

What You Should Do

Always follow these four food safety steps to help prevent getting sick from E. coli:

  • Clean: Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or peeling.
  • Separate: Keep food that won’t be cooked separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer to make sure you have cooked your food to a temperature high enough to kill germs.
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable food (food that goes bad) within 2 hours, or within 1 hour if food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, like a hot car or picnic. Thaw food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.