Health Department identifies bacteria found in Mighty Taco refried beans

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The bacteria found in refried beans from Mighty Taco that caused reported illnesses has been identified.

The New York State Health Department says Bacillus cereus is what caused reported gastrointestinal illnesses among Mighty Taco customers who consumed refried beans. Over 140 customers in Erie and Niagara counties complained of illness after eating them. The Health Department released the following information Monday afternoon.

 “The Wadsworth Center, the public health laboratory of the New York State Department of Health, has identified Bacillus cereus in patient clinical specimens, as well as from refried beans collected from               Mighty Taco restaurants, as part of an investigation into gastrointestinal illness among several patrons of certain Mighty Taco restaurants. Bacillus cereus is a type of bacteria that produces a toxin that causes illness, usually resulting in vomiting within 30 minutes to 6 hours after eating contaminated food. This is consistent with the symptoms described by those who became ill shortly after eating at Mighty Taco.  

The investigation into this outbreak is continuing, and all laboratory tests are not complete yet. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) is investigating the source/supplier of the refried beans. There have been no recent reports of gastrointestinal illness among patrons of Mighty Taco.”

Information on Bacillus cereus can be found here. 

The distributor of the refried beans at Mighty Taco that may have caused widespread sickness was identified last week.

Samples from the batch of beans made by Pellegrino Food Products, a Pennsylvania company, were sent to a lab for testing on October 7.

Pellegrino released the following statement on Friday morning:

“Pellegrino Food Products Co., Inc. stands behind the quality of all of its products and takes food safety issues very seriously. Refried beans are manufactured exclusively for Mighty Taco. To Pellegrino Food’s knowledge, no root cause has yet been determined of the reported illnesses, and we are actively working with the Pennsylvania Department of  Agriculture in its investigation.” 

The Health Department says there have been no recent reports of gastrointestinal illness among patrons of Mighty Taco.

MORE | See more on the complaints and investigation here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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