Report Links Taco Bell To 2011 Salmonella Outbreak In 10 States

Last fall, at least 68 people in 10 states fell ill following an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis. In the months since, the Centers for Disease Control have only referred to a possible source of that strain as “Restaurant Chain A,” but a new report claims to have confirmed that the anonymous chain is actually Taco Bell.

According to Food Safety News, the restaurant’s identity was revealed in a document from the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Acute Disease Service titled, “Summary of Supplemental Questionnaire Responses Specific to Taco Bell Exposure of Oklahoma Outbreak associated cases Multistate Salmonella Enterititis Outbreak Investigation.”

Try to say that 10 times fast while eating a chalupa.

Of the 16 known cases in Oklahoma, 8 confirmed to authorities that they had eaten Taco Bell before falling ill, while another four victims didn’t fill out the questionnaire.

The CDC says that the reason it didn’t release the name of any eateries tied to the outbreak is that doing so would have not had any public health benefit.

“By the time we posted information about this outbreak, it was over,” a CDC spokesperson told ABC News. “If it was over, there would have been no public need to disclose it.”

Taco Bell defended itself to ABC. In addition to coughing up the requisite, “We take food quality and safety very seriously,” the Bell maintains that the CDC did not definitively ID the source of the salmonella and that the reports only “indicated that some people who were ill ate at Taco Bell, while others did not.”

In all, 68 people fell ill. Texas had the most cases with 43, followed by Oklahoma’s 16, Kansas with two, and Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Tennessee with one case each.

Back in 2010, Food Safety News outed Taco Bell as the likely source of a salmonella outbreak that made at least 155 people ill.

Taco Bell Named In Salmonella Investigation Report [Food Safety News]

No Quiero Salmonella: Taco Bell Linked to Outbreak [ABC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. winstonthorne says:

    Don’t care. Still love Taco Hell.

    As Captain Kirk once said “Risk is part of the game if you wanna sit in that chair.”

    Damn I want a grilled stuft burrito.

    • Jfielder says:

      I’m so pissed they got rid of the regular grilled stuffed and replaced it with the XL. WTF T bell, I don’t want all that other shit!

      My latest love has been the Beefy Crunch Burrito with lots of fire sauce… mmmmm.

      • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

        Oh man, I know! What did they do to the steak?! It used to have a great texture and now it tastes like that fall-apart beef you get if you go to a taqueria. It might be what they were going for, but still…I want my old steak back!

  2. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    How long does Salmonella take to “take hold”? Because usually over the span of a week, I tend to eat at least three different fast food places for quick snacks, so it would be tough to confirm which place got me sick.

    • Murph1908 says:

      Tough to confirm for one person.

      But if you have 100 people, you look for the commonality.

    • bitslammer says:

      As little as 40 minutes up to a few hours. I have first hand experience with this. I ate dinner wiht my parents on time and we took carry out for my sister. She has what I had. I started to get *very* sick and wihtin 40 minutes sho was she. That was almost down to the minute the interval between me eating my first bite to her eating her forst bite when we got home. Too bad for her we were fast. My gettign sick might have servved as better warning for her not to eat those chili dogs.

      • moonunitrappa says:

        40 minutes sounds about right. Missed a flight due to an overwhelming need for my body to purge out of every orifice after a less than stellar meal at a Chinese restaurant in Indianapolis.

        After my body pushed it all out within 3 hours, I was remarkably fine, just exhausted and dehydrated.

        This was a lesson in keeping your immune system healthy. If my immune system had been compromised beforehand, it could have been a lot worse.

  3. Cat says:

    Oh, Taco Bell. As if what your food does to my colon without salmonella weren’t enough.

  4. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    Oh yeah? Well if it’s so bad, why, after viewing that picture, am I hungry for Taco Bell right now?

    Oh yeah, the picture. Damn it.

  5. FrugalFreak says:

    LOL! Beasley, This one is for YOU!

  6. Skipweasel says:

    I only ever went to a Taco Bell once – decades ago in London to repair their music system. I was so disgusted by the lack of hygeine that I called Environmental Health. Filthy, it was. Never went in as a guest and the branch shut down so I never went back on call either.

  7. Missing in Vlissingen says:

    The last incident was back in 2010? Well, that explains the sign I saw at my local Taco Bell yesterday:

    “It has been [544] days since our last salmonella outbreak.”

  8. theblackdog says:

    Food Safety News, is that another pseudoscience scare site like the Center for Science in the Public Interest?

  9. AngryK9 says:

    And people wonder why I call it Toxic Hell.

    And it’s still one of my favorite places… >.>;

  10. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    And here I thought salmonella was the name of their new fish taco. Silly me.

  11. Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

    it must be the “meat” they use.

  12. EatChex89 says:

    Add one more to the list. My friend got it as well when we went.

    We had Taco Bell (those delicious frito burritos) and then 40 minutes later, his stomach starts hurting and he’s farting it up while we’re playing mini golf (indoors too.. it was awful). Then he says he has to go to the bathroom. About 15 minutes later, I’m getting annoyed because I want to continue to play mini-golf and then go home and start drinking. I enter the bathroom and he’s still on the pot.

    We finish the game, and then we’re about to head home when he says he has to go to the bathroom AGAIN. Really man? He asks to use the nearest theater restroom, uses it for about 10 minutes and comes out and says he’s ready to go… no wait. He runs to the nearest trash can, throws the lid off and starts puking into the can.

    He finally manages to control it a little bit, but we still have a 30 minute drive home. Fortunately, I had saved some plastic grocery bags. I doubled those suckers up, gave it to him, and he puked a good amount of liquid and digested food into the bags.

    He continued to puke the rest of the night, well into the morning. I was tired, so I went to sleep and was told the next morning that it was coming out both ends the entire night. At one point, the vomit was so forceful that it ripped the nerves or whatever on his throat and he had a little bit of blood mixed into the vomit.

    Crazy story. He won’t eat Taco Bell anymore. I still will.

    tl;dr Friend got poisoned at a Taco Bell and threw up all night.

  13. vliam says:

    I’m more curious about the food preparation at the individual restaurants. Is this crap “pre-cooked”? It’s the only way that I can imagine the problem spreading this far.

    You could go back to actually “cooking” food. Strange concept, I know…

  14. TRRosen says:

    Even if Taco Bell was the source (which there is little actual evidence of) it wouldn’t have anything to due with Taco bell itself as the source obviously wasn’t the restaurant but most likely a tainted batch of lettuce etc that just happened to be sold to them.

  15. Ayla says:

    But I want my cheap food to be healthy! LOL Real food costs money and/or labor. Law of the universe.