The street-vended food industry provides employment and cheap ready-to-eat meals to a large proportion of the population in developing countries like Mexico, yet little is known about its role in the transmission of food borne diseases (FBD). Because of its wide consumption, street-vended chili sauces in Mexico are potential vehicles of FBD. An observational study was performed in Mexico City collecting 43 street-vended chili sauces. These sauces were prepared under poor hygienic conditions of handling and selling. Consumers add 4–8 ml of chili sauce per taco, ingest 2–5 tacos per meal and on average, 50 consumers frequent a stall per day. Seventeen (40%) samples were faecally contaminated and 2(5%) sauces harboured sufficient enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli to cause disease. We estimate that the consumption of only one of these chili sauces could result in ETEC disease in at least 21000 consumers per year, making them important potential vehicles of FBD.