More than 100 people reportedly have become ill from eating lettuce from Wendy’s sandwiches — far more than the CDC reported last week — and lawsuits against the company are piling up, The Post has learned.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 37 people in four states – Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania – contracted E. coli after eating Wendy’s sandwiches that contained romaine lettuce.
But the number of victims, some of whom were hospitalized, has now soared well past 100, experts say. Last week, the Michigan state health department said Michigan alone had received 98 reports of E. coli infections in August compared to 20 cases during the same period last year.
Most of the cases are linked to Wendy’s. Although Michigan officials said a “specific food item has not yet been identified,” they said investigations are focusing on the “sandwiches topped with romaine lettuce.”
Wendy’s said on Friday it has since yanked the leafy greens from some locations in “certain Midwestern states.”
“We are taking the precaution of discarding and replacing the sandwich lettuce at some restaurants in that region,” the company said.
The lettuce it uses in salads is different from its sandwich lettuce, Wendy’s said.
Meanwhile, victims are taking matters into their own hands.
Sara Boren of Bowling Green, Ohio, sued Wendy’s on Monday after she was hospitalized twice with severe diarrhea, including blood in her stool, earlier this month. She’d ordered a Dave’s Single hamburger with a side of cheese fries and a Jr. Chocolate Frosty on Aug. 1.
Boren is one of five Ohio residents who sued Wendy’s within the past week. In Wood County, where Boren lives, at least 22 E. coli cases have been reported to the local health department since July 31.
Another three Michigan residents also sued the burger giant, according to their lawyer Willam Marler.
“I expect the number of people who got sick to reach 200 in the next couple of days,” as test results the state agencies are tracking come back, Marler said.