30 get sick after eating 'rosca de reyes' from Orange County bakery

Thirty individuals got sick after eating a rosca de reyes, a Mexican sweet bread, from a Santa Ana bakery.
Thirty individuals got sick after eating a rosca de reyes, a Mexican sweet bread, from a Santa Ana bakery.
Orange County Health Agency

Thirty people got ill and went to local emergency rooms after eating sweet bread from a Santa Ana bakery Tuesday night. 

Helene Calvet, deputy health counselor for the Orange County Health Agency, told KPCC people developed symptoms somewhere between 20 minutes and two hours after they had consumed the rosca de reyes — Mexican sweet bread, traditionally eaten on Jan. 6 for Día de los Reyes (The Three Wise Men Day).

The cake was traced to Cholula's Bakery and it was distributed to 10 different outlets, in Orange County areas and Long Beach. 

The sick individuals were unrelated and live in different areas within the county. They experienced palpitations and dizziness and numbness, Calvet said. Some complained of nausea and shortness of breath as well. 

Jorge Gonzalez, 29, bought a rosca de reyes on the way home from work. After a couple of hours of eating it, he felt sick, he told the OC Register

“It was an overwhelming tiredness, and then it kind of felt like I was really, really drugged out,” Gonzalez said.

Everyone in the family felt the same symptoms of increased heart rate, anxiety, jitters and cottonmouth, Gonzalez said, adding that he was grateful his 5-year-old son did not eat any of the cake. 

“I’ve been drunk before, and even in my worst drunkness, I never felt that out of it,” Gonzalez said. “It was terrible and I had to try and keep it cool, and I didn’t want my kid to get scared.”

Health officials are inspecting the bakery trying to determine the source, Calvet said.

The bakery is closed until the investigation is complete, and health officials have contacted all the stores to which the bread was distributed, asking them to remove the bread from their shelves.

Specimens of the cake will be tested, but what caused the illness is still unclear, Calvet said. 

The cake was sold at the following locations, according to the Orange County health care agency:

Cholula’s Bakery
1002 E. 17th Street, Suite F
Santa Ana, CA  92701
(714) 972-3115
El Nopal Mercado
31451 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 443-9145        
La Bodega Ranch
918 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 639-9199
La Bodega Ranch
1700 North Placentia Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 524-1432
Santa Ana Marquet
1216 W. 1st St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703
(714) 543-3655
Tony’s Liquor
32141 Alipaz St.
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 218-8090
Gonzalez Marquet
235 W. La Jolla St.
Placentia, CA 92870
(714) 632-8655
Taqueria Mocorito Restaurant
1076 N. State College Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 491-2335
Taco Boy
725 North Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 491-7156
Brianna’s Ice Cream
2107 E. Ball Rd.
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 635-6264
La Bodega Ranch Market
4945 Long Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 423-8400