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Health department: Woodbury Applebee's on E. coli list

State health officials announced Thursday that a Woodbury restaurant was among the Applebee’s locations where people were sickened by E. coli.

At least one of Woodbury's two Applebee’s restaurants was confirmed among the nine Applebee’s where a dozen people had eaten before falling ill, according to a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) news release. An MDH spokesman said it was not immediately clear which of Woodbury's two Applebee's restaurants was included on the list.

The department launched an investigation into E. coli, a foodborne illness that leads to stomach problems, after receiving initial reports on Monday, July 14. The total number of E. coli cases reported in the Minnesota outbreak has grown to 15, though investigators have yet to narrow down the food item that caused the illnesses, according to the release.

Applebee’s removed its Oriental Chicken salad from menus in Minnesota, according to MDH, and is removing specific ingredients from the salad from other menu items “out of an abundance of caution,” according to MDH.

The department has interviewed people in 14 of the 15 confirmed cases, which revealed 12 of them ate at an Applebee’s restaurant in Minnesota between June 23 and June 29, the release states.

State health department officials said Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working to trace back ingredients to suppliers and points of origin in hopes of identifying a common source.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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