The New York State Health Department has issued a press release regarding its investigation into illnesses traced to Taco Bell restaurants.

State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today announced that the State Health Department is investigating 15 cases with laboratory evidence of a E. coli O157:H7 infection in New York State tied to a national outbreak associated with Taco Bell restaurants. An additional 15 cases are also being investigated. There have been 13 hospitalizations and 1 report of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a severe complication of E. coli O157:H7 infection that can lead to kidney failure.

The New York State Department of Health is independently testing the green onions to confirm preliminary test results obtained by Taco Bell. Taco Bell has removed green onions at all of its restaurants nationwide.