Monday, December 04, 2006

Oh No...

Leave it to New Jersey to put fear in all of our hearts:

N.J. Taco Bell Stays Shut After E. coli Outbreak
New York Times
Published: December 4, 2006

Nineteen people in New Jersey have been sickened, two of them seriously, by E. coli infections, and a Taco Bell fast food restaurant in South Plainfield, N.J., remained closed today as health investigators sought the source of their illness.

Stephanie Brown, an epidemiologist for Middlesex County, where most of the victims live, told The Associated Press today that 5 of the 19 people known to have contracted E. coli infections were in the hospital, and 2 of the 5 had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be fatal or cause permanent damage to the kidneys.

Calls to the county’s public health department today seeking further information were not immediately returned; neither were calls to Taco Bell’s corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif. The health department scheduled a mid-afternoon news conference to report on the status of the outbreak.

“It’s a significant outbreak and it’s a serious disease,” the Middlesex County Director of Health David Papi said on Sunday. “From a public health standpoint, we’re very concerned about this.”
Those sickened ranged from one year old to 23, but most are children, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, which reported the two-week-long outbreak on Sunday.

Although the specific source of the outbreak has not been identified, in September the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning saying that E. coli contamination of fresh produce might be the cause of illness in multiple states.

Most E. coli infections cause little more than discomfort, the F.D.A. said, but in some people, especially young children and the elderly, the infection can develop into hemolytic uremic syndrome, or H.U.S.

In a September outbreak of the illness, which was traced to bagged fresh spinach from California, three people died and some 200 fell ill.

Taco Bell, with about 5,800 restaurants in the United States, some of them company-owned and others owned by franchisees, is a subsidiary of Yum Brands, which also operates KFC, Pizza Hut and other restaurant chains.


Blogger whipcreamy said...

can't e.coli also be caused by poop? i mean, if people do not wash their hands after pooing then the poo can get on the food, right? i bet some a-hole pooped in the food. hmph. i will smell my burrito before i eat it now, but i will still go!

oh...and we need to discuss this taco bell and one year olds...what can they eat there? shouldn't they still be eating gerbers?

4:53:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Marler said...

E. coli is found in cattle feces, so when you hear about an E. coli outbreak, the outbreak is caused by fecal contamiantion at some point in the food chain. Since this outbreak has been traced to several different Taco Bell restaurants, a common food product (such as lettuce) is probably the cause, not ill food workers. See for more information.

6:55:00 PM  
Blogger whipcreamy said...

oh no! i LOVE cattle feces. guess i'm gonna have to get sick.

10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

wow! did you go to bill's blog. it's all about poison/contamination. i guess taco bell has hired him for some legal work regarding this. i don't know--just a guess. well, don't worry, bill, we will still eat at taco bell. just maybe not the ones in new jersey. like i needed another reason to stay away from new jersey.

12:07:00 PM  

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