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New cases slow as Mighty Taco outbreak hits 160 illnesses

Monday, October 10, 2016 22:38
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At least 160 people who say they ate at Mighty Taco locations in New York are confirmed in a foodborne illness outbreak possibly linked to refried beans.

Public health officials in Erie and Niagara Counties say they are working with the state’s health and agriculture departments to determine what pathogen is the culprit.

Erie County health department had documented 142 illnesses “associated with eating at Mighty Taco” as of the end of business Monday a department spokeswoman said. Niagara County has not updated their outbreak report since Thursday when there were 18 sick people who reported eating at Mighty Taco locations.

“No illness has been reported since Thursday afternoon when the (Mighty Taco) locations were instructed to discard certain lot numbers of refried beans,” said Mary C. St. Mary, Erie County public information officer.

“No pathogen has been determined at this time.”

Both counties sent samples to the state health department’s Wadsworth Center lab in Albany. St. Mary said the Erie County samples arrived at the lab on Friday. Niagara public health officials said last week it could take “several weeks of processing and analysis before results are available.”

In its Thursday statement, the Niagara County health department reported recent inspections of all three Mighty Taco restaurants in the county showed food handling and preparation processes and procedures met safe standards.

“Additional investigations are underway at food manufacturing, supplier and distribution sites by state and federal officials,” according to the Niagara County report.

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