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JACK IN THE BOX TO PAY HOSPITAL COSTS OF CUSTOMERS TAKEN ILL

 SEATTLE, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Jack In The Box announced today that it has begun an outreach program to notify its customers that it will pay hospital costs for those customers who have been hospitalized as a result of eating hamburgers contaminated by E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria at the company's restaurants.
 Jack In The Box is encouraging consumers who believe they have been affected to contact the company's special hotline at 800-866-9119 during business hours Monday through Friday.
 "We are committed to meeting all of our responsibilities in connection with this devastating situation. We are prepared to pay all hospital costs for our customers who have been affected by this tragedy," said Robert Nugent, president and chief operating officer of Jack In The Box.
 "If people need our help with hospital costs, we want to give it immediately with no strings attached. This assistance will be provided without any restrictions on actions that individuals may choose to take at a later date. Those future action will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine whether hospitalization resulted from the current situation at Jack In The Box or is simply one of the nearly 200 cases of E. coli that occur every year in Washington alone unrelated to our restaurants," he added.
 The company has, and will continue, to take every possible step to ensure that this situation does not occur again, including:
 -- Jack In The Box has increased cooking times so that the internal temperature of all hamburger meat not only meets, but exceeds, all state and federal regulations.
 -- Jack In The Box has checked the grills in all restaurants to ensure they are operating at the proper temperature of 375 degrees.
 -- All grill personnel have been retrained on proper procedures and they have been instructed to visually ensure all patties are thoroughly cooked.
 Nugent concluded, "We realize that the past few weeks have been very difficult for the children and families who have been affected by this outbreak. We certainly don't want concern about medical costs to add to this burden."
 -0- 01/31/93
 /CONTACT: Sheree Zizzi of Jack In The Box, 619-571-2248/
 (FM)


CO: Jack In The Box; Foodmaker ST: Washington IN: LEI SU:

AH -- NYSU005 -- 1095 01/31/93 15:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 31, 1993
Words:378
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