Wendy’s Lettuce Possible Culprit in Midwest E. Coli Outbreak (Sure, Blame the Lettuce)

There are a lot of things you probably shouldn’t eat that are being served at your local fast-food restaurant. (You have seen Supersize Me, right?) From quarter pounders to french fries to milkshakes, fast food is basically one big calorie bomb – and a potential stomachache. But one of the few healthy ingredients on a particularly fast food venue’s menu is being fingered for making people sick.

At least 37 people have fallen ill due to an E. coli outbreak in the Midwest. Some of those afflicted – 10 to be exact – actually got so sick with symptoms like fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in their stool that they had to be admitted to the hospital. (E. coli can cause kidney failure.) Perhaps most surprising is the median age of the victims: 21 years old.

The CDC is still investigating the outbreak, but a common link among those who got sick was eating at Wendy’s.

“Who hasn’t felt sick after eating a bacon double cheeseburger value meal?” you’re asking yourself. Well, oddly enough, the common link among those who ate at Wendy’s locations across Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and later experienced aforementioned misery was the romaine lettuce atop their burgers or sandwiches, not the entrees themselves.


Wendy’s has since removed romaine lettuce from its offerings altogether as a precaution. (Because when has a fast-food giant ever admitted to causing gastrointestinal distress in a customer?)

For those who go to Wendy’s for salads, 1) what is wrong with you? And 2) the chain uses a different type of lettuce for salads so you can calm the eff down and keep eating like rabbits.

As for the rest of us Wendy’s lovers, if you want to be extra safe, make sure the only green thing on your burger are pickles.

Cover Photo: Dmitry Ageev / EyeEm (Getty Images)