Published: July 16, 2011
By: Max Follmer
On Christmas Eve in 1992, six-year old Lauren Rudolph showed up at Children's Hospital in San Diego with severe stomach pains and bloody diarrhea. She died less than a week later. No one knew it at the time, but little Lauren was the first victim of a food-borne illness outbreak that would eventually kill four children, and sicken 700 others.
The Jack in the Box E. Coli outbreak changed the way Americans thought about food. No longer was a stomach bug considered a mild inconvenience that caused a bit of discomfort. All of a sudden, hamburgers became deadly weapons.