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142 reported illnesses after Mighty Taco's refried beans caused concern in Erie County

Posted at 2:49 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 16:16:09-04

Mighty Taco is awaiting the results of the suspect batch of refried beans that was inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

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.

Mighty Taco removed and discarded a batch of refried beans from their restaurants after several people complained about getting sick after eating at one of the restaurants. The chain says this action was taken voluntarily, without any request from the ECDOH.

The restaurant chain outsources the production of its refried beans, which are made exclusively for Mighty Taco. The producer, Pellegrino Food Products Co, Inc., is an approved FDA and USDA facility.

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. Mighty Taco says customers can continue to enjoy food with the chain knowing this was an isolated incident and the first of its kind in its 43 year history.

"Mighty Taco's food safety inspection record with our Department, across all their locations in Erie County, has been exceptional," said Jeffrey Jurewicz, Senior Public Health Sanitarian at the Environmental Division of the ECDOH.

Results of these unannounced inspections can be found here.

Mighty Taco remains in constant communication with Pellegrino Food Products Co, Inc. to make sure the ingredients used going forward will not come from the same source as the ingredients used in the suspect batch.

St. Mary says it will still take weeks to see what, if anything, is able to be identified as the culprit for the illnesses in the samples.