E. Coli Outbreak at Taco Bell and KFC; KFC Chicken Found with High Levels of Antibiotics


Twenty-six people have fallen ill after eating E. coli contaminated lettuce at Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Canada. At the same time, chicken served at Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in China is being investigated for high levels of antibiotics.

E. coli in Lettuce in Canada

The fast food restaurants are part of an international chain that moves large quantities of food across the continent. This particular lettuce was grown in California and served in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario. The lettuce was only shipped to Taco Bell and KFC restaurants in Canada and was never available in grocery stores. The contaminated lettuce has been recalled and removed from the supply chain.

Twenty-six people fell ill between Dec 23 and 26 after consuming the E. coli contaminated lettuce. No one has died, although eleven people were hospitalized.

Antibiotics in Chicken in China

Some of KFC’s chicken suppliers in China are accused of using antibiotics at higher levels than allowed. The Shanghai FDA is still investigating, but KFC has already dropped the chicken suppliers that are suspected of using too many antibiotics.

Antibiotics increase the growth rate of chickens and other livestock and also prevent disease in the overcrowded quarters in factory farms. Excessive use of antibiotics can also increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

News of the tainted chicken has affected sales at China’s KFC restaurants. The corporation expects sales to be 6% lower than they were last year.

KFC photo via Creative Commons

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