Not naming names creates problems

Public disclosure avoids a lot of issues.

Luis Nunez, owner of two Corona Mexican restaurants in Spartanburg, South Carolina, told WSPA that health types should be transparent about which restaurant is linked to the E. coli outbreak.

He says limiting the information to a "Spartanburg-area Mexican restaurant" punishes all Mexican restaurant owners in town because people will just avoid eating Mexican in general.

Adam Myrick with DHEC explained the decision not to name the restaurant, saying the agency is confidant there is no "ongoing public health threat."

"Releasing the name of the facility wouldn’t really do anything to further protect the public health," says Myrick.

But it would help consumers make future dining choices and create an additional incentive for food service to get things right.

When 11 people get sick with E. coli and two end up in hospital with HUS, word is going to get around town.

So the restaurant, El Mexicano, went and outed itself, which will earn far more consumer trust long-term than any lame explanation from a lackey health type.

Restaurants sell food. They lose money when people don’t show up; health types don’t lose their jobs, although do have to listen to political types whine about their friends who own restaurants.

Government at any level sets minimal regulations and standards. The best will always go beyond the minimal standard.

11 sick; E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to South Carolina restaurant

South Carolina health inspectors are investigating an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 linked to a Mexican restaurant in Spartanburg.

Adam Myrick, spokesman with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, told the Spartanburg Herald Journal that of the 11 suspected or confirmed cases associated with the same restaurant, two people were infected to a potentially serious level, said.

DHEC is continuing its “multi-faceted investigation” that includes reviewing restaurant menus, food samples and taking stool samples from those who have related symptoms who have eaten at the restaurant.

Myrick wouldn’t confirm the restaurant associated with the outbreak. Myrick said the cases were reported during the last week of April and the first week of May.

DHEC has since inspected the restaurant and does not have a “reason to believe the public is in danger at this time,” Myrick said.

“It’s early in the investigation and we’re piecing together information and talking to people,” Myrick said. “We’ve looked at the facility and found no substantial problems, but again, it’s early.”

The agency issued an alert to local healthcare providers Friday afternoon advising them of the symptoms associated with shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), which include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting and a mild fever.