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Anonymous E. Coli Outbreak in South Carolina Frustrated Locals

After much criticism, El Mexicano restaurant names itself in 11 person outbreak

Food Safety News

by Helena Bottemiller | May 17, 2012

When public health officials in South Carolina announced last week they were investigating an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to a Spartanburg-area Mexican restaurant, residents at the epicenter of the outbreak were left with more questions than answers.

Last Friday, Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the centralized health and environmental protection agency in South Carolina, said that a single restaurant had been linked to 11 illnesses, but officials did not name the restaurant because the agency did not believe the public was at risk. After much criticism from the local community, El Mexicano restaurant in Spartanburg on East Main Street voluntarily agreed to release its name to the public, DHEC announced Wednesday.

According to public health officials, all 11 ill were "associated with the facility" but DHEC spokesman Adam Myrick did not specify whether they were workers or diners.

Of those sickened, one is lab-confirmed, two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication that can lead to kidney failure, and the 8 others with diarrheal illness are hypothesized to be part of the outbreak because of their link to the restaurant, Myrick told Food Safety News.

Continue reading, "Anonymous E. Coli Outbreak in South Carolina Frustrated Locals" at Food Safety News.

More on this outbreak: El Mexicano Restaurant E. coli Outbreak - Spartanburg, SC

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