Qdoba appears to have one-upped Chipotle — currently entangled in an E. coli–related PR nightmare — by possibly giving some Colorado diners the Victorian-era illness of typhoid fever. Health authorities believe only three people were infected back in August, but the report’s just now coming out because the rare, sometimes-lethal infection can take a while to incubate. Two of the customers required hospitalization, but they’ve since recovered. Officials say there’s presently “no evidence” of an ongoing risk.
It takes a specific type of salmonella bacteria to contract typhoid (Salmonella typhi), and as anyone familiar with Typhoid Mary, the infamous cook back in the day, will recall, it’s passed along through bad hygiene. A Colorado health official gives this helpful primer: “Someone sheds it in their feces and contaminate[s] food or directly contaminate[s] something that somebody else ingests.” (Just … ew.) “The good news,” officials note, “is that worker is no longer handling food at the restaurant.”