who-what-where-when-why-how.pngIn journalism, the “Five Ws and one H” – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are regarded as the basics of information gathering for news.

Perhaps, it is time to do a little journalism?

Who became Ill?  A total of 68 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states.

What do we know?  The CDC collaborated with public health officials in multiple states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections which was associated with eating food from a “Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain, Restaurant Chain A.”

When was the Outbreak?  The outbreak began October 13, 2011 until the final report was publishing on January 19, 2012.

Where are the Illnesses?  The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1) and Tennessee (1).

Why we don’t know?  What is “Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain, Restaurant Chain A” with restaurants in at least Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee?

How is it that we still don’t know?  Well, after spending several hours trying to figure out what “Mexican-style fast food restaurant chains” do or do not have locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee, I gave up.  Which make me wonder how pissed the other “Mexican-style fast food restaurant chains” that are not “Restaurant A.”


CDC says total number ill are 68 in Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), and Tennessee (1).

So, which restaurant?  It could be any of the ones below, but more likely the one in BOLD – CDC only says where people got sick – it could be that they ate in a restaurant in another state then where they reside.

– Taco Bell: Multiple locations in every outbreak state.

Qdoba: In every outbreak state; Only 1 in Northwest corner of NM (officials from Qdoba have confirmed that they are not retaurant A).

– Chipotle: In all outbreak states except Tennessee, which has one victim. However, there are locations in 3 of Tennessee’s neighboring states.  Only one NM location (officials from Chipolte have confirmed that they are not retaurant A).

– Del Taco: Locations in all but 3 outbreak states (IA, KS and TN), but Kansas has one right over the border in MO.

– Taco Del Mar: Not in KS, MO, or TN, but right on TN border with Mississippi.

– Taco John’s: In all outbreak states but OK, MI, and TN, but one right across TN border in Kentucky.

  • Lewis Kimble

    Why so many more outbreaks in the States of Texas and Oklahoma then the other states? Who will tell us the common factor(s) involved? Where are the public documents posted for the Public Health inspections in each of these states? What food safety factor(s) was over-looked?

  • Diana

    I am also a lawyer, and I think it is reprehensible that our public officials appear to put the interests and “reputation” of a restaurant above public health and safety.
    Perhaps if the offenders’ names were publicly released, then such companies would be more careful about ensuring their employees wash their hands, and handle food safely. I have never eaten at a Taco Bell, and do not intend to do so in future, but this gives me ammunition when my son (who unfortunately likes fast food) tells me that fast food is safe, “otherwise the government would not allow the restaurant to stay in business”. Hah!!

  • Cassandra Wright

    Excellent web blog, Bill. Great idea to go public and ‘out’ these so-called restaurants. What a novel idea: putting the innocent public’s health & potential suffering BEFORE corporate greed! I”ll be checking back at your blog for more info. Way to go, Bill!

  • C. James

    I became ill about 2-3 weeks ago at Taco Bell in Columbia, SC on Decker Blvd. I should have been taken to my Dr; however, I was too ill from vomiting, etc, to drive…couldnot even talk to make a phone call to family. Hmmm…I wonder how many cases are not reported. I am never never ever dining at Taco Bell Ever again!!!