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Taco Bell Food Scare Raises Safety Concerns

Fears about food safety in the U.S. are once again front and center. Taco Bell (owned by Yum! Brands )says its eight restaurants on Long Island, New York re-opened today following an outbreak of E-Coli bacteria. The company had voluntarily closed the restaurants for a day. Health authorities have not yet determined the cause of the outbreak--which may have sickened as many as 3 dozen people. One restaurant in New Jersey is still closed.

Meantime--Jamba Juice has launched a safety audit after discovering frozen strawberries tainted with listeria.

So-how safe is the food we eat--and when outbreaks occur like this--who is to blame?

On "Closing Bell" Maria Bartiromo asked Sherri Daye Scott--the Editor of Q-S-R (a fast food trade publication) and Caroline Smith DeWaal--the Food Safety Director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Scott says that there are enough safety regulations in place to protect the food supply--and that organic foods aren't necessarily any safer. She did say it's important for food workers to wear gloves on the job.

DeWaal takes a slightly different view--stating that products like hamburger and lettuce are easily contaminated. She mentioned that Taco Bell cooks its hamburger at an outside location and then serving it in their stores. She says it's important to get any bacteria out of the food supply at the source where the food is grown.

Both women do agree that everyone should clean vegetables at home as much as possible.

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  • With almost 30 years experience in business television, Bill Griffeth is co-anchor of the 3 p.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

  • Kelly Evans

    Kelly Evans is co-anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

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