|DOH Home >> Press Releases|
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
For Further Information Contact:
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is investigating 58 cases of illness potentially related to the multi-state outbreak of E. coli 0157 infection associated with Taco Bell restaurants.
Included in the total are 28 cases that meet the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition as being associated with the outbreak. This includes eight confirmed cases in Middlesex (7) and
The other 20 -- all probable cases according to the CDC definition – are from Middlesex (13), Essex (1), Somerset (2), Union (2), Camden (1) and Hunterdon (1) counties.
“People who develop symptoms of possible E. coli infection should contact their health care provider immediately. Symptoms could include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps or vomiting, but usually not fever,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
In addition to participating in the epidemiologic investigation, the department’s Public Health and Environmental Laboratory has conducted laboratory testing on food samples from Taco Bell restaurants, their distributor McLane Foodservice Inc., in
Fifteen samples of green onions taken from McLane on December 6 have tested preliminarily negative. The batches of green onions sampled were processed by McLane’s supplier, Ready Pac, November 26 or later, well after the outbreak began.
Twenty food samples taken from Taco Bells in South Plainfield and
In addition, the department’s Food and Drug Safety program today conducted inspections at McLane and Ready Pac. Today’s McLane inspection did not indicate any problems with the firm’s food safety operations. The Ready Pac inspection will be completed on Monday.
DHSS has authority over wholesale food establishments such as McLane and Ready Pac, and conducts periodic inspections to examine sanitation, food handling and processing, employee health and training, and other issues.
McLane is the sole distributor of all ingredients including cheese, meat items and produce for Taco Bell restaurants in
# # #
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360