Taco Bell Food Poisoning Lawsuit Filed as Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 150

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By: Staff Writers | Published: August 11th, 2010

It is believed that at least 150 people in 21 states have suffered salmonella poisoning after eating at Taco Bell restaurants, and at least one food poisoning lawsuit has already been filed against the Mexican fast food chain. 

The Taco Bell outbreak is believed to have started around April 30 and probably ended about July 19. According to investigators from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least two different strains of Salmonella have been linked to people who ate at Taco Bell during that time period, but they have been unable to identify exactly which products at the restaurant were contaminated.

Late last week the first Taco Bell food poisoning lawsuit to spring from the outbreak was filed by Jo Ann Smith in Franklin County Circuit Court in Kentucky. The complaint names Yum! Brands, Taco Bell’s parent company, as a defendant. Smith’s lawsuit claims that she bought food from Taco Bell in Frankfort, Kentucky on May 24, and woke up ill on May 26. Over the next several days her condition worsened until she was admitted to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning, dehydration and anemia.

Investigators were able to track the outbreak because the two strains, Salmonella Hartford and Salmonella Baildon, are rarely seen in the U.S. Investigators say that the outbreak salmonella from Taco Bell has most likely run its course, but they are still investigating.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, bloody diarrhea and fever, which usually begin to appear within 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food. Young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk from severe injuries, hospitalization and death due to food poisoning complications, but on rare occasions, healthy adults are also severely infected when salmonella spreads from the intestines to other parts of the body.

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/ / CC BY 2.0

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There Are 41 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. I recently got real sick after eting at a local Las Vegas Taco Bell out here 2 weeks ago….

  2. My three kids and I ate the Taco Bell in Dawsonville, GA with in that time period, the only thing that happened was that my 5 year broke out in hives on his face and neck with some swelling ,after eating a soft taco. I knew it had to be the taco , because it was immediately after. Actually before he was finished eating it. Luckily his throat did not swell.

  3. My son broke out is severe hives July 21st after eating at Taco Bell, he had a soft taco too. It was so bad I took him to the emergency room.
    They gave him a shot and it cleared up, but it was very scary.

  4. My son was sick today after eating at a San Francisco Taco Bell last night. I told him to never eat at Taco Bell!!

  5. I recently ate at taco bell a day ago in Fort Mohave AZ with a friend from ALL BEAUTY college on our lunch break about a couple hours I felt horrible had bad cramp fever and had bad bubble feeling in my stomach and it’s been a day still don’t feel well and neither does my friend I was with.

  6. I was up all night every hour throwing up and projectile vomiting last night after eating taco bell in penn valley, ca…. Man it still feels bad …my head hurt so bad I thought it was gonna explode!!! Poisioning?????

  7. I ate Taco Bell in Wake Forest NC November 4th. I was feeling great at the time, then about an hour started feeling sick and about 3 hours later I started throwing up diarehia for the past 2 days. I went to urgent care and they said it was food poisoning. I’d like to know if this happened to more then just myself. I called them to inform them and they said the general manager would call me back. He hasnt and its been 2 days.

  8. I ate at Taco Bell store 016521at 6:39 p.m. on 11/16/2010 and was ill 4 hours later and am still sick 12:56 a.m. 11/19/2010. Never again will I eat Taco Bell

  9. I ate at Taco Bell today Nov 24. Within 4 hours I was very sick to my stomach and have had diarrea for the past three hours. I’ll never eat at Taco Bell, Lincolnton, NC again!

  10. I ate at a Taco Bell in Dallas, Texas on Oct.31, 2010 became very ill. Went to the doctor and tests were taken including a stool sample and was shown to have had food poisin. Taco Bell corp. office will not work with me on this matter.

  11. I ate at the taco bell in Richland, MS on Sunday December 26 and been in the hospital since 8 o’clock sunday evening with bacteria infection and food poisoning. And the last thing i ate was hards tacos and a mexican pizza from taco bell.

  12. My nephew and his fiance got food poisoning after eating taco bell today.

  13. I at taco bell on Friday night and was violently ill until today (Sunday). Never again.

  14. well me and my daughter just ate taco bell yesterday and i am not sick or anything but i did spit up blood this morning but as of now i am feeling very well ……………..and she hasnt been sick or saying she feel sick either .

  15. I ate at taco bell yesterday and have been extremely sick to my stomach since last night. Yuck!

  16. I ate at Taco Bell 2/11/2011 In Kailua-Kona Hawaii and got food poisoning. 24 hours I thought I was dying until projectile vomiting began. NO MORE TACO BELL.

  17. I ate a chicken gordita at taco bell in Lexington, Kentucky. I got reall sick and threw up at least 10 times. I am not going to eat there ever again!

  18. I ate yesterday at the Taco Bell here on La Grange road in Louisville, KY.
    And I am sick today. With a mild case of diarrhea and malaise. And I even avoided their sauce.
    I am not sure what is wrong with their food. This is the last time I will eat at Taco Bell anywhere ever.
    Sorry your food tastes good but is of inferior quality and this is not the first time I have experienced this.

  19. My daughter ate at the Johnston Rhode Island store on Jan 6 20011 two days in the hospital and we are getting the runaround

  20. I ate at taco bell in Forest City, NC. I had two Chicken Quesadilla’s around 2:00pm, at 3:30pm, starting feeling dizzy, very sleepy and a small feeling a nausea. When I got home from work (around 8pm) I could barely keep my eyes open, and had severe chills. I will NEVER eat at taco bell again. That was the only thing I ate since the afternoon before, so I know it was that.

  21. I ate at taco bell at 1130 A. M. on april 1 2011. I had a taco salad with chicken. Around 400 oclock I felt sick to my stomach. I got home and I had diarrhea about every 3 or 4 minutes, and was sick to my stomach. then I begane throwing up. I wont be eating there again.

  22. On Sat 3/2/11 at 9:07 pm I was at taco bell couldn’t decide what I wanted so I ordered the cheesy beef n bean burrito shortly after at about 10:00 pm I felt really really bad I thought I was dying like I had been poisened my vomit even looked different wasn’t the same like if I had ingested something it even had a dull red appearance like blood I felt so bad and I didn’t feel this way until after I ate this and I didn’t even eat the whole thing and I ordered two. I googled what happened to see if anyone else experienced this and I came across this site and there are others this is scary now I’m afraid to ear out for fear of being poisened to death !

  23. I’ve eaten at Taco Bell three times at three different locations.
    The first time, I was 10 year old. I ate two regular tacos. My stomach was so upset and no amount of TUMS could cure it.
    The second time I was in college. I had to miss class because I needed to stay near a bathroom because of the horrible diarrhea.
    The third time, I was 32 years old. I was working at an office that had no good restaurants in the area. I thought that I should try something else. I ate chicken tacos instead of beef. I was the only person answering phone calls at the office. No one could cover for me. Once again, I felt like I had to vomit, and I had severe diarrhea. I had to tell the manager that I could not work any more that day.
    My husband wanted Taco Bell many times, but I told him I will NEVER eat there again. I have food sensitivities and perhaps this was the cause of my sickness, but I would never recommend Taco Bell to ANYONE.

  24. Friday april 22 2011 i ate at a taco bell in pooler georgia. Off how 80 a few hours later i hardly constant bowel issues. And a fever of 103.5. Pain and chills. No more taco bell for me

  25. I had Taco Bell yesterday forlunch, taco salad- and have had fever, chills, backache, nausea and diarrhea about 5 hours later. Missed work today because of it. This is the 2nd time I have been sick after eating there…i will never eat at the SW 9th St Taco Bell in Des Moines again.

  26. yestreday I bought the big box at taco bell in cudahy ca my 16 year old son ate the burrito 6 hours later he was really sick he had nausea, vomit,cramps,the chills he is still sick I am taking him to the doctor I think he got food poison, hope he gets better it hurts me seeing him suffer. we would never eat at taco bell ever again.

  27. I work for a food testing laboratory and I am an epidemiologist. It takes at least 24 hours to develope symptoms of food poisoning from a meal. when you get sick from eating look at the meal you had at least 24 hours ago for your answer. Also, most often its from fresh produce.

  28. i ate at taco bell 25 hrs ago and bad sick throwing up

  29. After eating at a Taco Bell in the Wisconsin Dells yesterday evening my mother, nephew(12) niece (4) and cousin (11) are all very sick today. Thank God they made it home before they got sick, they had a 5 hour drive home. I’ve heard of too many people getting sick from Taco Bell I stopped eating there.

  30. my boyfriend ate from taco bell in ruckerville va within 5-6 hours he started getting sick fever cold chills, and feeling like he had to puke. so we went to the hospital and they found there was an infection in his body. about a month later about 10 doctors n er visits they discoved he had e coli in his blood and it had created and abest int he bladder n prostate area and was rushed in the emergecy surgery to take out the infection that was in the absest. about 60k later he is back to normal this happend from April till May 2011. WE never will eat taco bell again to many people i know get sick from there. I think some people need to go around and check there foods to see wha tis really going on with them. maybe they will learn when it gets so bad when couple people lose there life from food posioning.

  31. I had taco bell in naperville il tonight after a show, and just after I finished my stomach began feeling like it is going to absolutely explode! It hurts so bad!! I had to force myself to throw up twice before I could even stand to sit still, due to the pain… I’ve taken stomach medication and been laying down since then, (about 10pm), and I am still miserable! It really hurts. If I am still in pain in the morning I am going straight to a doctor… If I am forced to miss work, it will be devastating for me. My husband had a small amount of my food, and then had to urgently use the bathroom, so I am absolutely positive it’s the damn Taco Bell!!!

  32. Me, my wife and (2) friends ordered from Taco Bell’s drive-thru (@
    1768 Sharkey Way, Lexington, Kentucky 40511) on 01/26/12 @ 12:33 AM. We ordered their family 12 pack (“1 TBF-12 S-BF”). All of us got deathly sick. Extreme vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, temperature etc. Only (1) person working and/or visably seen. No question it was from Taco Bell as our friends had just arrived from out-of-town. My on-line researching illustrates this is apparently customary and/or adopted policy forTaco Bell’s throughout the country. We still have leftovers/receipts etc. for testing, which I feel positive will reflect food poisoning. Hoping for some feed-back on how to properly pursue legally. Our advice……don’t EVER eat @ ANY Taco Bells. I felt like I was going to die.

  33. How dare the CDC ( or any other Agency ) DARE to cover this up? Esp. since the same thing happened 3 yrs ago involing YUM BRANDS (TACO BELL + OTHER CHAINS ) ? wHAT A BOGUS BUNCH OF BULL CRAP! Gov.’mt workers need to remember who really pay’s their salaries…
    How many more chains have the CDC or FDA been protecting???
    This is an election year so let’s see some heads roll and reform happen!

  34. On January 15,2012 I ate at Taco Bell in Madison Tennessee. Within 4 hours I was deathly ill,projectile vomiting and uncontrollable pure liquid diarrhea. Never been that sick in my life. Had to be hospitalized for 2 days with IV meds and fluids. Thought I was going to die .

  35. I ate Taco Bell on Dec. 27, 2011, in Lamar, MO. Four hours later, my stomach began to cramp and burn. Projectile vomiting and diarrhea ensued for more than 12 hours, both were bloody. I went to the doctor and was told it appeared to be salmonella poisoning and it took 3 days for me to recover. I missed 3 days of work and have medical bills to pay. I am ANGRY! I haven’t eaten fast food since, nor will I ever again. I did report to the local health department who did not want to test my leftover food and who minimized my complaint.

  36. Questions: Why did it take so long for the goverment to report the Toco Bell food poisioning,and how many goverments employess,Congress and th Senate own Toco bell franchises….who’s paying off who here.. it’s all about the ….MONEY. Bob J.

  37. I ate Taco Bell last Thursday night right before going to bed. 6 hours later I was running to the toilet every 5 minutes with pure diarrhea. all day Friday I had diarrhea and severe nausea. I never threw up, but I have an iron stomach and I have only involuntarily vomited a few times in my 33 years. The diarrhea came with the most awful smell I had ever witnessed–you just KNEW something wasnt right. Then Friday night, I had an hour of violent chills which led to a fever of 102. I took WebMDs advice for treating food poisoning–theres really only 1 thing you can do…wait it out and drink plenty of fluids. Immodium helped a lot too (turned the poo into poots lol). Went back to a regular diet on Saturday but diarrhea all day and mild nausea. By Sunday things were calmer and today its pretty much gone, but I thought several times during the initial 48 hours I was going to have to go to the ER. I would have if vomiting had also been present for me. Stay safe–you never know if the salmonella is in the meat or cold ingredients like tomatoes or lettuce. TB needs to make a push to correct this issue ASAP. Until then, why hasnt the FDA shut em down? Will never eat there again.

  38. I had eaten at taco bell on dec 30st 2011, two hrs into doing shopping i started to cramp up, i headed for the bathroom and i almost passed out from being so sick. Within two hrs after that i started to pass blood which really scared me. I ended up in er on the 31st. I was so sick that i contacted taco bell and the manager there called me and suggested that i come back for a free meal i will never eat at a taco bell in the future. As of now i cant eat lettuce or beef since then.

  39. I ate at taco bell with my son and partner in sacramento ca how ever im pregnant and 6 months so not due to pregnancy i couldnt stop throwing up . And my son and partner had diarhea for 3-4 days with nausea i dnt know what it was that caused it but i loved taco bell but we will never eat there again.

  40. ate at taco bell Worcester mass July 29 2014 Tuesday ordered 2 tacos,2 hours later severe cramps sweats, bloody diarrhea, lasted for 14 hours of hell,taco bells insurance carrier contacted me and of course there is nothing they can do because I did not go to the hospital, and have no documentation of the incident, beware of the corporate giant out to screw the little guy on a technicality I will never eat at taco bell again and suggest others do the same.

  41. Ate two taco supremes and a mexican pizza. Woke up late in the night and puked my brains out. That went on all day along with severe diarrhea. This is the second time taco hell got me. I eased back in to their menu. Bad idea. Stay away.

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