Red Robin E. coli Outbreak: Westminster Red Robin Patrons Acquire E. coli
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in conjunction with the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD),has launched an investigation into the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews located at 799 West 146th Avenue in Westminster, Colorado. TCHD identified E. coli O157:H7 in the stool of two minors and one adult who ate at the Red Robin. This Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli, or STEC, is the most common type of food borne E. coli. This form of STEC can cause bloody diarrhea and, in some cases, lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
TCHD, in coordination with the CDPHE, closed the establishment after the Red Robin E. coli outbreak, finding:
- A failure by employees to engage in proper hand washing;
- A failure to practice proper cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation surfaces; and
- A failure to prevent cross contamination between raw meat and ready-to-eat prepared foods.
In the aftermath of theRed Robin E. coli outbreak, TCHD has stated through a spokesperson that they will be conducting food safety training before allowing the Westminster Red Robin to reopen.
Meanwhile the company acknowledged that it “recently became aware of a health issue at our Orchard Town Center location in Westminster,” adding that the company takes “these concerns very seriously.” The written statement added, however, that the company “believe[s] this is an isolated incident and are working with the Tri-County Health Department to conduct a thorough investigation at this location.”
Two of the three identified victims of the Red Robin E. coli outbreak have been hospitalized, but it remains uncertain if either suffers from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or if other medical conditions required hospitalization. According to one national E. coli lawyer who has represented thousands of food poisoning victims, “an E. coli lawsuit is likely to be brought in the coming days, especially is either of the victims develops into hemolytic uremic syndrome. Hemolytic uremic syndrome lawsuits seek damages in the six to seven figures because HUS requires significant medical treatment both now and , possibly, for years to come.”