Pathogen in Mighty Taco’s bean-linked outbreak still unknown; supplier named

Mighty Taco, a Western NY fast food chain is home of the uh, mighty tacos, and over 140 illnesses linked to refried beans.

According to TWC news, Mighty Taco named Pellegrino Food Products Co. as their bean supplier.mighty-taco-gusto-web-2-can-1100x733

On Thursday, Mighty Taco named Pennsylvania company Pellegrino Food Products as the manufacturer of the bad beans. At least 142 people in Erie and Niagara counties who ate those beans between Sept. 23 and Oct. 6 complained of nausea and vomiting. No one has reported getting sick since Mighty Taco removed the beans.

The company also took to Facebook Thursday night to answer common questions that many customers had and ensured them this was a “isolated and unprecedented situation that we have not encountered in our 43 year history of serving the Western New York public.”

“Pellegrino Food Products Co., Inc. stands behind the quality of all of its products and takes food safety issues very seriously. Refried beans are manufactured exclusively for Mighty Taco. To Pellegrino Food’s knowledge, no root cause has yet been determined of the reported illnesses, and we are actively working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in its investigation,” Pellegrino Foods Production Co. said in a statement.

Pellegrino Food Products website doesn’t say anything about the outbreak but does include this,

Our company started out in a small grocery store, where my parents sold peppers as a specialty item to hunters. We were the originator of the recipe to sell peppers in tomato sauce. Now, we’re a USDA and FDA approved food processing company. It’s still a family business with the same quality standards we had when we started.


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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.