At least six of the patrons of the Issaquah Farmers Market, who visited the market in August, have been identified as victims in an E. coli outbreak linked to Los Chilangos food truck catering, a company that distributed steak tacos to customers. Los Chilangos is just one of 12 food vendors who prepared their food at the Eastside Commercial Kitchen, which has been shuttered out of an abundance of caution. It remains closed pending the conclusion of the initial investigation into the outbreak. While it is still uncertain what was contaminated with E. coli, local reports indicate that health officials are considering cilantro as the possible culprit at the center of the outbreak. Cilantro, like a bunch of sprouts, is very difficult to clean and has been linked to a number of outbreaks of food borne illness in recent years.
According to health officials investigating the E. coli outbreak, all of the victims identified so far reside in King County.
Meanwhile, at least one of the victims has been identified by name, young four-year-old Elizabeth Buder, who remains hospitalized. And the owner of Los Chilangos food truck catering, Noemi Mendez, rather than denying having caused the illness, is apologizing to all of the victims but especially little Elizabeth (who goes by “Scout”).
Los Chilangos acquires cilantro from a number of vendors, and the trace-back investigation remains in its infancy. If in fact the cilantro is deemed to be the carrier of the E. coli strain responsible for this outbreak, it may be that other victims in and around King County have also eaten tainted cilantro at other food establishments and become ill. By CDC estimates, only one in thirty cases of food poisoning get reported. By contrast, it may be that the E. coli was introduced into the food at Los Chilangos, limiting exposure to those who ate its tacos.
“The most important thing now is for those who ate at Los Chilangos, or recall eating something with cilantro in it in August, to report any gastrointestinal illness to the local health departments,” says Ron Simon, a national food poisoning lawyer. Simon explains that the more cases identified the easier it will be locate the source and prevent further illnesses.
For more information about a Los Chilangos Lawsuit or any other food borne outbreak, call the national E. coli lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates at 1-888-335-4901.