If you recall from September, there was an E. coli outbreak involving bagged spinach that got it pulled from supermarket shelves, restaurant menus and just about everywhere else after a few people became ill. It turns out that there is a connection between that incident and the most recent Taco Bell E. coli scare, where more than 50 people have become ill. Taco Bell already decided to pull their green onions from menus and check the safety of their other ingredients, but as the investigation continuted, it was discovered that the produce in question was processed by the California-based Ready Pac Produce company - the same one that was blamed for that spinach outbreak.
Ready Pac is the green onion supplier to the New England areas were outbreaks were reported at Taco Bells. They stopped production at their New Jersey plant so that federal inspectors could conduct tests. It is reported that the company is also testing their produce in California.
It should be noted, however, that the final results are not in yet and it cannot be said with certainty that Ready Pac supplied or processed the contaminated onions. Green onions are notoriously difficult to clean due to their multi-layered structure and have been responsible for several cases of food-borne illness in the past decade.