Some Taco Bell customers had to make a run for the doctor’s office after a Salmonella outbreak that infected dozens of people in ten states last fall.
But the outbreak also affected other unidentified restaurants, not just Taco Bell, the fast-food company points out.
A Salmonella outbreak in October and November 2011 infected 68 people, 20 of whom had to be treated at hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control reports, according to ABC News. No one died from the infections.
Salmonella are bacteria that cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Infection may not require treatment, unless a person becomes dehydrated or the infection spreads.
A CDC report in January described the Salmonella outbreak and linked most of the infections to “Restaurant Chain A.” Food Safety News identified “Chain A” as Taco Bell on Wednesday, ABC reports.
The CDC’s report did not name Taco Bell because of a long-standing policy, according to ABC. The CDC does not identify restaurants under investigation if there is “not a public health threat.”
“By the time we posted information about this outbreak, it was over,” a CDC spokeswoman told ABC. “If it was over, there would have been no public need to disclose it.”
A Taco Bell statement emphasized that “some people who were ill ate at Taco Bell, while others did not,” ABC reports. The problem may be tied to a supplier, the company suggested.
The source of the Taco Bell Salmonella outbreak remains a mystery. Multiple infections were reported in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, while Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Tennessee each saw one case of Salmonella infection, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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