Mighty Taco outbreak pathogen revealed; John McEnroe was wrong

Almost every time someone mentions B. cereus to me I respond with ‘you cannot B. cereus’ as an homage to tennis legend and tantrum thrower John McEnroe’s excellent autobiography. I don’t know if anyone gets the joke.

WGRZ news reports that over 160 Mighty Taco patrons were ill because of B. cereus in refried beans.mte4mdazndewnja3nzy5mtay

The bacteria Bacillus cereus was found in patient clinical specimens and in samples of refried beans from Mighty Taco restaurants, according to a statement from the DOH released Monday.

Bacillus cereus usually causes vomiting within 30 minutes to 6 hours after eating contaminated food, the department says, which is consistent with symptoms described by those who ate at Mighty Taco.

The FDA is looking into the refried beans supplier, Pellegrino Food Products in Warren, Pennsylvania.


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.


Mighty Taco’s beans linked to over 140 illnesses

While living in Guelph (that’s in Canada), I listened to sports talk radio from Buffalo NY sometimes and the only thing I remember about the station were low-budget Mighty Taco commercials (sort of like the one below).

And now I equate Mighty Taco a refried bean-linked outbreak – which sounds like it might be perfringens (thanks to Schaffner for the link). According to WKBW, the outbreak continues to grow.

Mighty Taco got a bad rep last week when customers in Erie County started complaining they got sick after eating at the fast food chain.

According to the Erie County Department of Health, there are now 142 reported illnesses linked to nine different Mighty Taco locations.

The Public Information Officer for the ECDOH, Mary St. Mary, says it is important to note that no one has reported getting sick after the suspected refried beans were removed from the restaurants.

Folks that sell food that makes 142 ill deserve a bad reputation – especially if they can’t tell you what their suppliers are doing.