5 outbreaks, food-related illnesses that impacted Ohio in 2018

Food and medication recalls and contamination have caused serious issues across the state this year.

From romaine lettuce deemed unsafe across the country to an Ohio Chipotle causing hundreds of customers to become ill, here are five food-related issues that cost Buckeye state residents some peace of mind in 2018.

1. Chipotle C. Perfringens outbreak

At least 647 customers of a Chipotle near Columbus got sick after food was kept at unsafe temperatures. C. Perfringens were found in the stool of several customers of the Sawmill Parkway restaurant in August. The symptoms of the illness are serious, including severe abdominal pain and diarrhea, but they are not fatal.

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2. Romaine lettuce … and romaine again

A romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak that infected two Ohio women first occurred in March. The strain spread to 11 states and hospitalized 22 people.

Romaine was recalled again due to an E. coli outbreak in December. The lettuce was pulled from store shelves and restaurants for several days.

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3. Ground beef recall

More than 35,000 pounds of JBS USA ground beef sold in Kroger stores was recalled in May of this year. The beef could have been contaminated with hard plastic. The majority of the meat was shipped from distribution centers in Virginia and Indiana.

The Cincinnati-based retailer’s Cincinnati and Dayton division has some stores in Indiana.

Another round of ground beef from Cargill Meat Solutions was recalled in September and expanded later in the month after a potential E. coli contamination. There were 17 illnesses and one death related to the more than 130,000 pounds of recalled beef sold at Meijer, Safeway and Sam’s Club locations nationwide.

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4. Blood pressure medication

Several blood pressure medications were voluntary recalled by Mylan Pharmaceuticals this year. The drugs containing valsartan were recalled because they contained traces of N-nitroso-diethylamine, which has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

5. Hepatitis A outbreak

Ohio declared a Hepatitis A outbreak in June. Though much of the outbreak is attributed to increased opioid use, the disease can be spread through food that contains the virus. Several Ohio food establishments have had cases of employees with Hep A this year, including at a Taco Bell in Warren in August and a Dave & Busters in Toledo in April.


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