According to news reports, officials in New Jersey are “investigating a cluster of E. coli cases” that may be associated with “local Panera Breads,” according to Sarah Perramant, public health epidemiologist in Warren County. This was reported by NJ.com yesterday afternoon.
It’s important to note that the cluster of E. coli illnesses in that state has not been definitively linked to the Panera restaurant chain, and that health officials have not determined that Panera is the source. In fact, the outbreak may extend beyond one single restaurant chain. The investigation is continuing, with investigators interviewing witnesses, conducting traceback investigations, and using other methods of outbreak epidemiology.