Authorities have tracked down an outbreak of E. coli to a chain restaurant, and are conducting test to see if it is the cause.
A major outbreak of E. coli in four New Jersey counties have officials scrambling to get a handle on the developing situation. A total of eight cases have been reported involving the potentially deadly disease, and officials think they may stem from a single chain restaurant.
Specifically, authorities reportedly are concerned that a single Panera Bread location may be ground zero of the outbreak of E. coli, but they are not quite sure and more investigation will be required. They are conducting laboratory tests to be sure after eight people were hospitalized, five of whom have since been discharged.
E. coli is a potentially seriously illness, but most healthy people will get better without treatment within a week. The elderly, very young, and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk from the disease, which can cause blood in the stool, high fever, and significant vomiting.
“The Department of Health is in the preliminary stages of an investigation into eight cases of E. coli in four counties. The Department is investigating a possible association with a chain restaurant, but the association may be broader than a single chain restaurant,” reads the statement from the New Jersey Department of Health. “The Department is in the process of gathering food history data from those who became ill.”