FORT LUPTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Andrea DeHerrera is a truck driver and drives all over the state. Sometimes she stops at her favorite local restaurants to grab a bite to eat. On Feb. 9 she stopped at Burrito Delight in Fort Lupton for some tacos.
DeHerrera remembers, “When I left, I just had a weird taste in my mouth.”
She felt worse as the day went on.
“My body started getting really achy. I started getting a temperature. By the time I got home my temperature was about 103,” said DeHerrera.
The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment says so far, 12 people have been sickened after eating Burrito Delight from Feb. 9 through Feb. 13. One of those people was a child who had to be hospitalized.
Dr. Carrie Hanley, the Director of Community Health Services said, “I think this has the potential to be a large outbreak.”
Some of the people who got salmonella ate Burrito Delight at a catered event at Aims Community College in Greeley. Others, like Andrea, ate at the Fort Lupton restaurant itself.
Since the outbreak, the owners of Burrito Delight have closed both locations in Weld County as investigators try to identify the source of the bacteria. The county has since inspected the restaurants and found violations such as an employee not washing hands, inappropriate food storage, and presence of a rodent in the Fort Lupton location.
Records show the Fort Lupton restaurant has been inspected at least once a year for the last three years. The restaurant did have some violations, but upon re-inspection, those violations were found to have been corrected and the restaurant remained open. Until Thursday.
DeHerrera was sick for five days, “For four days I didn’t even come out of my room.”
She is feeling better now, but after her experience, she says her restaurant-hopping days are over for a while.
DeHerrera says, “I think I’ll probably just be doing a lot of my own cooking from now on.”
Officials say more than 400 people were exposed to salmonella at the Aims Community College events, but everyone has been notified. Anyone with questions or suspects they may have gotten sick can call a 24-hour hotline set up by Weld County: 970-400-4457.