Taco Bell President Greg Creed appeared on “Squawk on the Street” with Mark Haines and Melissa Lee this morning. He was touting new evidence from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration that shows the culprit in the latest e. coli outbreak was the lettuce supply – and not the suspected green onions.
Creed says Taco Bell changed its Northeast produce supplier five days ago – so the Mexican fast-food chain is safe for eating again. He was emphatic about identifying the recent problem as an “ingredient issue” and not a sanitary one with the restaurants themselves.
The outbreak was much bigger than just Taco Bell, Creed says, and he announced the formation of an industry-wide coalition to investigate the produce industry to assure the public of its safety.
It’s too early to tell what kind of financial impact the outbreak has had on parent Yum! Brands. The stock has been bouncing between red and black today since the market opened.