Yesterday afternoon I asked, “Will the CDC name Taco Bell as the “Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain” associated with some Salmonella Hartford and Baildon illnesses?”  I asked that because we have been tracking several of the cases over the last several weeks.  However, one confirmed case became ill only two weeks ago.

And, today we have confirmation via Phyllis Entis, MSc., SM(NRCM), Just call me Sherlock Holmes, at eFoodAlert that the “CDC, Washington State, confirm Taco Bell is “Restaurant Chain A.”  As Sherlock said:

In an email message sent just moments ago, Kristen Nordlund of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that Taco Bell is the national fast food Mexican style restaurant chain associated with Salmonella illnesses in 21 states. 

Nordlund’s email was in reply to my request for confirmation of a report that I received from Gordon MacCracken of the Washington State Department of Health, who named Taco Bell as the restaurant chain identified by that state’s sole outbreak victim.

Taco Bell is a national Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain that is part of the Yum! Brands family. Other Yum! restaurant chains include KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W and Long John Silver. No other Yum! restaurant chain has been implicated in this Salmonella outbreak.

CDC reported last evening that 21 states had registered a total of 155 cases of salmonellosis. More than 60% of the people interviewed had eaten at “Restaurant Chain A” – now identified as Taco Bell. Seventy-five of the outbreak victims were infected with Salmonella Hartford; eighty with Salmonella Baildon. No single food or ingredient has been determined to be responsible for the outbreak.

Great Job Sherlock.  Oregon too ties a Salmonella illness to Taco Bell.  Here is the breakdown by state:

75 Salmonella Hartford illnesses since April 1. The breakdown by state is Colorado (1 ill), Georgia (1 ill), Illinois (5), Indiana (11), Kentucky (23), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (3), Montana (1), North Carolina (1), New Hampshire (1), New York (1), Ohio (19), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (1) and Wisconsin (4).

80 Salmonella Bialdon illnesses since May 1. The number of ill people identified in each state with this strain is as follows: Connecticut (1), Georgia (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (20), Indiana (4), Kentucky (5), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Minnesota (5), New Jersey (6), New Jersey (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (22).