PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Restaurant owners blame McLane Foodservice for a 2006 E. coli outbreak that forced them to temporarily shut down several Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Long John Silver’s franchises in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
According to a federal lawsuit, the E. coli outbreak in late 2006 made national headlines, after several fast-food customers in the northeastern United States grew ill from E. coli contamination.
At the height of the crisis, Spruce Restaurants, Oak Restaurants, New Jersey Restaurants, Delaware Restaurants and Summerwood Corp. allegedly had to close most of their restaurants, including two that never reopened. They also were ordered to destroy all the food in Taco Bell restaurants in affected areas, the lawsuit claims.
An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments pinpointed an outside food supplier as the source of the contamination.
The restaurant owners claim McLane Foodservice was their sole supplier during the contamination outbreak.
The plaintiffs demand actual and punitive damages, including lost profits. They are represented by Clifford Haines.