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Source of E.coli O111 illnesses investigated

E.coli O111 has sickened at least 13 people in Minnesota with the source still unknown.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said the ill people do not all share obvious commonalities, indicating the source is a widely distributed food item.

While seven of the people with E. coli O111 infections reported eating at Applebee’s restaurants between June 24 and 27, there are multiple cases with no apparent connection to the restaurant.

Applebee’s removed Oriental Chicken salad from menus at all its Minnesota restaurants and specific ingredients of its Oriental Chicken salad from other items on its menu.

Four of the 13 people were hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering.

All of the illnesses were caused by the same genetic strain of E. coli O111 and it has not been seen in the US previously.

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