July 23, 2024

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks Of 2012: #4

A Salmonella outbreak associated with eating food at certain Taco Bell restaurants was the fourth largest  multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2012, based on the total number of people sickened. The 10-state outbreak that sickened 68 people was first multi-state outbreak reported in 2012 and arguably the most strangely handled.

Mexican Fast Food Salmonella Map

Map Showing Outbreak of Salmonella at Mexican Restaurant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the outbreak and pronounced it over in one fell swoop by publishing its first, last and only “final report” in January.  Throughout the report the CDC refers to the restaurant associated with the outbreak as a “Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain, Restaurant Chain A.” The report also said: “At this time, there is no specific advice to consumers” and “Consumers are not warned to avoid any specific foods or restaurants.”

After two-weeks of food safety advocates crying foul over lack of transparency and various Mexican-style fast food restaurants saying “it wasn’t us,” Taco Bell announced that it was Restaurant Chain A. A specific food source for the outbreak was never identified.

The case patients ranged in age from less than 1 to 79 years old. The median age was 25. Of the 68 people who became ill with the outbreak strain Salmonella Enteritidis, 21 were hospitalized. Slightly more than half of the case patients, 54 percent, were female. By state, the case count was as follows: Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), and Tennessee (1).


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