CHEYENNE Wyo. The Taco John’s quick-service chain has alerted the operators of its 400 units that an E.coli contamination of a branch in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, may have been what caused 33 people to get sick since last Tuesday.
Franchisor Taco John’s International, based here, said it has also asked the chain’s primary supplier in Iowa to “double-check its own compliance” with safety regulations.
The situation is not believed to be connected with the E.coli outbreak tied to Taco Bell restaurants in six states. Green onions are suspected as the cause of that contamination, which has sickened more than 200 people. Taco John’s has not indicated whether or not its outlets use green onions, which are also known as scallions.
Taco John’s said the lone suspected store, a franchise, was allowed by health authorities to re-open an hour after replacing all of its food supplies. Health investigators have not concluded that the Iowa outbreak is tied to the Cedar Rapids store, and that others who have shown signs of E.coli poisoning did not eat at the restaurants, Taco John’s said.
The chain operates as well as franchises restaurants in 27 states.