June 19, 2024

Federico’s E.coli Outbreak Preceded By Temp Control Problems

Prior to the E. coli outbreak associated with Federico’s Mexican Food in Litchfield Park, AZ, the restaurant was cited repeatedly over the last three years for food storage temperature violations, Maricopa County records show.  An E.coli outbreak that includes between 15 and 21 people is being investigated by officials at the Maricopa County Departments of Public Health and Environmental Services and the Arizona Department of Health Services who urge anyone who has bloody diarrhea to contact them.

Federico's-E.-coli-OutbreakBloody diarrhea is a signature symptom of E.coli infections. Other symptoms, which usually appear between two and five days, include abdominal cramps and vomiting. It’s important to note that E.coli infections can be made worse through treatment with antibiotics and over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). See a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms.

Federico’s  on 13132 W Camelback Rd. in Litchfield Park has closed during the investigation. Since 2010, the restaurant has been cited five times for temperature-related food safety violations. On May 29, 2013, for example, the restaurant was cited for holding “shredded cooked and raw pork, shredded cooked and raw beef, cooked shrimp, breaded cooked fish, breaded cooked chili (egg battered), cut deli ham held in reach in cooler at 50 F. Deli ham in walk in cooler held at 47 F.” These products, which were discarded,  should have been stored at a maximum temperature of 40˚ F.
An inspection on August 1, 2013, after the outbreak was discovered, no cooking and holding temperature violations were discovered. “However, cooked chiles were observed to have been improperly cooled. Cooled chiles were found to be between 62-63°F after cooling for 6 hours.” During the inspection, officials discussed proper hand washing procedures, proper procedures to clean and sanitize food preparation surfaces and utensils, and suggest that the restaurant create an employee illness. Sick employees are a major source of foodborne illnesses associated with restaurants.




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