The investigation of an E. coli outbreak in Michigan has shifted its focus to California.

Recent Outbreaks Posted on

The source of an E. coli bacteria outbreak that sickened 50 people last month in Michigan, Illinois and Canada was identified as California lettuce, but the incident has a family-owned business in Detroit fighting for its reputation.

Aunt Mid's Produce Co. was reported by state officials 20 days ago as the only known distributor of iceberg lettuce that infected people with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria -- the same strain that in 1993 made hundreds ill and killed four children who ate undercooked hamburgers at Jack in the Box restaurants in the West.

Philip Riggio said Tuesday that the lettuce incident has cost the 60-year-old company he runs with his three sons and about 100 employees tens of thousands of dollars in lost production, legal and public relations fees, and a soon to be launched advertising campaign to rehabilitate Aunt Mid's image.

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