William Marler, a nationally-recognized food safety advocate and attorney, today called on Taco Bell and its parent company, Yum! Brands, Inc., "to do the right thing and immediately pay the medical bills for the victims of this most recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak traced Taco Bell restaurants in New York and New Jersey."

Marler noted that in other outbreak-situations, companies such as Dole, Jack in the Box, Odwalla, Chi-Chi’s and Sheetz advanced medical costs for outbreak victims whose illnesses were traced to their food products.

To date, New York and New Jersey health officials have reported that 39 people have been confirmed as victims of this Taco Bell outbreak. At least 2 victims develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially lethal complication of E. coli O157:H7 infection, and are still hospitalized. “With such devastating injuries, and so many of them,” Marler continued, “I hope that Taco Bell executives step up and do the right thing for their customers.”