E. coli outbreak linked to Panera in NJ

Consumers in at least four counties in New Jersey have been affected by an e. coli outbreak in the last few weeks. Six people in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, and Warren counties have become ill from a source that has been potentially identified as a Panera restaurant in Phillipsburg in Warren County.

Health officials have not definitely determined that the e. coli illnesses came from the Phillipsburg-based Panera. They are actively investigating the outbreak, including interviewing those who became ill to find a common source. Officials have stated that there has only been one case of e. coli in Warren County and that other cases had been reported as far back as the third week of March.

Once health officials find the source of the e. coli, they will test samples in a lab to verify the contamination. New Jersey will then send the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to confirm the findings.

Food safety issues can result in e. coli contamination. Generally, E. coli infection results from consuming undercooked or raw foods. Contamination can also spread due to poor hygiene during food preparation. For instance, a restaurant employee who uses the toilet without washing his or her hands may spread infection to consumers

E. coli generally appears three to four days after the initial infection, though in some cases, symptoms don’t appear for over a week. The most common E. coli symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and fatigue.

If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect negligence on the part of a restaurant or food manufacturer, consult the food poisoning lawyers at 1-888-335-4901 to learn more about your options.