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Burns & Gambo

Updated Aug 3, 2013 - 10:23 am

Bacterial outbreak linked to Litchfield Park restaurant

The Federico's location where an E. coli outbreak was traced to is shown. (Google Maps)

PHOENIX -- A bacterial outbreak that has sickened at least 15 people has been linked to a Litchfield Park restaurant, Maricopa County health officials said Friday.

The people were infected with E. coli at Federico's, located at 13132 W Camelback Rd.

"Just to be clear, it is only this one Federico's establishment where many of the cases have reported eating or purchasing food," said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health. "The investigation remains ongoing and we have all hands on deck to figure out the specific source."

Upon being informed, the restaurant voluntarily closed down, threw away all of its food and began working with officials to determine the source of the bacteria.

"The restaurant has been extremely cooperative with our investigation. In fact, out of an abundance of caution and concern for their customers, the restaurant is voluntarily closing," said Steven Goode, deputy director for the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services.

England added that the source of the bacteria has not been located.

The restaurant passed a recent health inspection.

Seven of those people who were infected have been hospitalized.

According to the department, the illness appears to be caused by bacteria that produces a toxin that can cause severe illness, especially in children. The illness has led to bloody diarrhea.

The department is urging anyone who is experiencing bloody diarrhea to seek medical care so a stool culture can be ordered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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