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FDA Points Finger At Dairy Farms
In Taco John’s Outbreak

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, January 17, 2007

The FDA issued a statement regarding the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak at Taco John’s Restaurants:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that it has moved closer to identifying the source of illness for the Taco John E. coli outbreak. FDA and the state of California, working in conjunction with state health officials in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, have DNA-matched the strain of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria associated with the outbreak with two environmental samples gathered from dairy farms near a lettuce growing area in California’s Central Valley.

The investigation is ongoing, including obtaining additional samples, to determine if and how material from the dairy farms may have contaminated the lettuce growing area.

If this turns out to be the cause of the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak at Taco John’s, we are seeing an example of why we have to look at not simply playing defense by testing water, putting up fences, etc., but also look at holding people responsible for controlling waste products generated on their property.

Tom Russell, President of Dynasty Farms / Pacific International Marketing, wrote us a letter addressing the point. You can read it here.

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