Taco John's E. coli OutbreakIn December 2006, Iowa and Minnesota health officials investigated an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among patrons at Taco John’s restaurants in Ceder Falls, Iowa, and Albert Lea and Austin, Minnesota. As of December 13, 2006, the Iowa Department of Health had confirmed that at least 50 Iowans had become ill with E. coli infections after eating at Taco John’s, and the Minnesota Department of Health had confirmed that at least 27 Minnesotans were part of the outbreak.
On January 12, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration issued a press release, which stated that the FDA and state health officials were closer to identifying the source of E. coli contamination associated with the E. coli outbreak at Taco John's restaurants in Minnesota and Iowa. According to the FDA release, at least 81 individuals had become ill with E. coli infections after eating at Taco John's, including 33 from Minnesota, 47 from Iowa, and one from Wisconsin. Twenty-six people were hospitalized with E. coli infections, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Lettuce from California's Central Valley had been determined to be the source of the outbreak, with two environmental samples testing positive for a genetic match to the E. coli strain isolated from outbreak victims.
Although the outbreak occurred at the same time as the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak on the East Coast, the two outbreaks were never linked.
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