Contaminated lettuce blamed for E. coli outbreak at Federico's

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- The Maricopa County Department of Public Health now blames lettuce for an E. coli outbreak this summer at a popular West Valley Mexican restaurant.

The outbreak reportedly sickened 94 people. Twenty-four of those who got sick were children.

The outbreak occurred in July at the Federico's Mexican Food restaurant on Camelback and Dysart roads in Litchfield Park.

According to the department's report, the specific source of the bacterial exposure is uncertain, but lettuce is named as the probable cause. Officials say the lettuce may have been contaminated by manure, irrigation water, improper handling and transport or improper storage.