Salmonella Outbreak That Sickened Oklahomans Linked To Taco Bell

Thursday, February 2nd 2012, 10:23 am
By: News 9

Yum Brand Inc., the owner of Taco Bell, insisted a salmonella outbreak that sickened 68 people in 10 states, including Oklahoma, is over and customers are not at risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in January that a food-borne illness was linked to a Mexican-style fast food chain. The CDC did not name the company because it felt there was no public health threat.

Food Safety News obtained a document from the Oklahoma State Department of Health's Acute Disease Service that revealed the restaurant was Taco Bell. The fast food chain released a statement Wednesday saying the outbreak occurred in October and November of 2011. It said the source not been identified, but it believed there's no risk to customers.

"The CDC has stated the public health is not at any risk, and this incident is completely over," Taco Bell said in an emailed statement.

"The CDC indicated that some of the people who were ill ate at Taco Bell, while others did not. They believe that the problem likely occurred at the supplier level before it was delivered to any restaurant or food outlet. We take food quality and safety very seriously."

Sixteen people became ill in Oklahoma. Half of those people reported eating at Taco Bell. Texas had the largest outbreak with 43 people sickened. People in Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee also became ill.