Aunt Mid’s Lettuce E. coli Outbreak
In September of 2008, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was first reported among Michigan State University (MSU) students was determined to have been caused by the consumption of E. coli-contaminated lettuce distributed by Aunt Mid’s Produce Company of Detroit. Students at the University of Michigan and inmates at the Lenawee County Jail also became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections during the outbreak, which was traced to industrial-sized packages of iceberg lettuce supplied to all three institutions by Aunt Mid’s Produce Company of Detroit.
A trace-back investigation revealed that the lettuce distributed by Aunt Mid’s was grown in California and was distributed nationwide. Residents of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, New York, and Oregon were ultimately determined to have become ill with a genetically indistinguishable strain of E. coli O157:H7 after eating the contaminated lettuce.