The scallions suspected in the E. coli outbreak linked to Taco Bell came from a Southern California grower, an official with the company that washed, chopped and packed them for the restaurant chain said Thursday, the Associated Press reports.


Ready Pac Produce, the sole supplier of green onions to Taco Bell restaurants in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia areas, stopped all production of scallions at its Florence, N.J., plant, which was visited Wednesday by federal food inspectors.


Taco Bell removed scallions from all 5,800 of its restaurants Wednesday after preliminary tests linked them to the E. coli bacteria. State and federal investigators also are scrutinizing other non-meat ingredients on the Taco Bell menu, such as cheese, lettuce, yellow onions and tomatoes, as they try to pin down the source.


At least 46 confirmed cases of E. coli sickness linked to Taco Bell have been reported in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

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