“This is, however, our largest E. coli outbreak since 2006 when we had an outbreak associated with spinach,” said Rigler. 205 people were infected that year.
“Right now the federal government is conducting a lot of traces back to find out if they can identify exactly where that lettuce was contaminated, was it at the farm, was it in a processing plant,” said Rigler.
So far, state health officials say until the all clear is given, don’t take any chances and steer clear of romaine lettuce.
“It’s possible we’ll be able to call a close to this outbreak soon, but we need to keep monitoring for the next ten or so days to make sure we don’t identify any additional cases,” said Rigler. “If you don’t know where your romaine lettuce came from, don’t eat it. Once this outbreak is cleared, we will work with the federal government to make the announcement.”
ABC15 reached out to Styles and her attorneys for comment on the suit but have not heard back.
A second woman filed a very similar lawsuit through the same attorney on Monday, saying she went to the same Red Lobster in Peoria and suffered similar symptoms.
According to court paperwork, Penny Bunches was hospitalized from March 26, to March 30 after suffering from diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
She says she ate at a Caesar salad at a Peoria Red Lobster on March 21 and the lawsuit says the romaine lettuce served in the salad was contaminated by E. coli, leading to her infection and symptoms. Bunches tested positive for E. coli at the hospital, according to the complaint filed.
ABC15 also reached out to Red Lobster who provided this statement:
“The health and safety of our guests is important to us, which is why we take food safety very seriously. Since this is an open legal matter, I can’t share any additional information at this time.”