Two of the hospitalized have developed a type of kidney failure – hemolytic uremic syndrome – known to be associated with this particular type of bacterium, E. coli O157: H7.
The bacterium produces a toxin that causes symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps, usually within a few days of ingestion of a glitch. 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 is found in an unopened Caesar salad with Ready Pac brand in a patient's home genetically linked to the bacteria causing the outbreak. While patients in Maryland report having eaten this particular brand, those in other states do not. The CDC recommends that people do not eat or sell this particular Best-before-October 31 product.
A statement on Wednesday by Bonduelle Fresh America stated that the salad being tested is ready-to-cook antibiotic-free chicken Caesar salad 2 /6.25oz, lot no 255406963, UPC # 7774527249. It is sold only at the club to Sam, the company said.
"We continue to work with all regulatory agencies to track the origin of this pollution as quickly as possible to reduce potential impact on consumers," the company said in a statement, adding that it tests all its leafy greens and is not tested positive for E. coli O157: H7 during the period.
The CDC is still checking whether other products can be connected to the hearth.