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Published July 15, 2014, 11:30 AM

Some Minn. E. coli cases linked to restaurant chain

More than a dozen cases of foodborne illness are being investigated by the Minnesota Department of Health — some from people who reported eating at Minnesota Applebee’s restaurants during a four-day period in June.

By: Forum News Service ,

ST. PAUL — More than a dozen cases of foodborne illness are being investigated by the Minnesota Department of Health — some from people who reported eating at Minnesota Applebee’s restaurants during a four-day period in June.

The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating 13 cases of a type of E. coli bacteria. The ill people don’t share obvious common threads, the department says, which indicates the illness resulted from a widely distributed food item.

Seven of the people reported eating at Applebee’s restaurants in Minnesota from June 24 to 27. The restaurant volunteered to remove its Oriental chicken salad from Minnesota menus during the investigation, along with ingredients in the salad that are used in other menu items.

A news release from Applebee’s indicates the seven people who became ill ate at five Minneapolis-area Applebee’s restaurants. With six cases not linked to the restaurant, that’s an indication of a vendor produce issue, the company says.

Symptoms caused by this strain of E. coli include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools.

Four of the 13 people were hospitalized.

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