Bacteria in refried beans sold at a regional taco chain has been blamed for gastrointestinal illness in around 150 customers, and now state officials have confirmed the pathogen to blame and the food that it was in. It’s Bacillus cereus, bacteria that build up in food that has sat out for too long at room temperature. It causes diarrhea or vomiting, and has a short incubation period: you can start barfing within half an hour.
Illnesses linked to Mighty Taco, a chain operating in the western half of New York State, cropped up last week, and tests on food samples from the restaurant as well as on samples taken from sick customers turned up Bacillus cereus, a relatively common foodborne bug. The good news is that the worst complication can be dehydration in people unable to keep fluids in their system for the course of the illness.
Custoemrs also learned that Mighty Taco isn’t refrying its own beans: the refried beans in question came from a supplier, identified as Pellegrino Food Products. For now, the chain has pulled all refried beans from its restaurants, figuring that customers have probably lost their taste for refried beans for the near future.
Bacteria named in Mighty Taco outbreak; chain denies fault [Food Safety News]
Health Department identifies bacteria in Mighty Taco’s refried beans [Buffalo News]
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist