Green onions get blame in Taco Bell closures - The Packer

Green onions get blame in Taco Bell closures

12/08/2006 12:00:00 AM
John Chadwell


A 2003 outbreak of hepatitis A involving Mexican green onions in salsa led to the closing of Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant chain, and the industry is still ramping up a number of food safety initiatives triggered by an E. coli outbreak traced to spinach in September.

In the Taco Bell outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Dec. 6 that 43 people have been sickened, nine remained hospitalized and one 11-year-old boy had suffered kidney damage.

Three people died in the E. coli-tainted spinach outbreak.

The FDA has obtained samples of all nonmeat items served in Taco Bell restaurants that could carry the pathogen, including cilantro, cheddar cheese, blended cheese, green onions, yellow onions, tomatoes and lettuce.

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