The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says it has an “open and active investigation” into how the substance allegedly got into the to-go order of burritos in Aurora.
“Right now what we’re looking at is if the rat poison was actually put into his food at the restaurant. We don’t know if it was, at this point in time,” Sheriff Deputy John Bartmann told CBS Colorado.
The sheriff’s office says it received a report of a disturbance at the restaurant on Sunday when a customer got into an argument with an employee because the soda machine was not working.
Officials say that later in the day the customer was hospitalised, and told investigators that he waited until 7pm to eat his food then became ill and called 911.
“That hospital said they had a patient who has possibly consumed rat poison in his food from the same restaurant,” added Deputy Bartmann.
Investigators are looking at surveillance video from the restaurant.
Restaurant manager, Lary Swift, told the news station that the man is a regular customer who has caused problems before and even thrown a taco at a staff member.
Ms Swift said that the man had ordered three bean burritos and been given a fourth for free because of the situation.
“We don’t carry poison in the restaurant,” she said. “We didn’t do anything like that. It didn’t even add up. It’s ridiculous.”
Taco Bell said in a statement to The Independent that the owner of the franchise had contacted them about the issue.
“The safety of customers and team members is a priority. The franchisee who owns and operates this location has informed us that they are working with local authorities in their investigation,” the company said.