At least 8 infected with E. coli in New Jersey

PHILLIPSBURG, New Jersey (WABC) -- At least eight people have been infected with E. coli in New Jersey, and investigators are zeroing in on the possible source.

The Department of Health says the outbreak happened in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, and Warren counties.

Officials are conducting interviews with victims about their diets to try to pinpoint where the source of the outbreak.

The Warren County health commissioner has reportedly identified a Panera Bread restaurant in Phillipsburg as the possible source, while the state Department of Health says the association may be broader than one chain restaurant.

State health department officials say they are in the process of gathering food history data from those who became ill, awaiting lab tests to determine if the strains of E. coli bacteria match. The CDC will then conduct confirmatory tests.

Panera has not responded to a request for a statement.

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