November 20 Update:
As of today, there have been reports of illness via Chipotle in Minnesota, Ohio, New York, and California stemming from the same strain of E-Coli found in the Oregon and Washington cases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, released an update today regarding the recent E-Coli outbreaks at numerous Chipotle locations nationwide.These incidents were reported from Chipotle restaurants in Turlock, CA, Akron, OH, Amherst, NY, and Burnsville, MN.
However, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said, “Due to the timing of reported visits - in late October and on Nov. 6 - Chipotle does not believe it is necessary to close those restaurants.”
The total number of infected individuals has risen to 43 and 16 in total have been hospitalized. The age range of those affected is two to 94 years old. There have been no deaths.
For more information, check out the FDA Official Website.
November 19 Update:
This last month, numerous Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest region closed following reports of E-Coli at certain locations.
Since then, the contamination has been isolated to eleven restaurants in only the Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon areas. There were 19 reported cases related to the bacteria in Washington and three reported cases in Oregon, involving an unknown type of food. Of those 22 cases, health officials said eight were hospitalized.
According to a New York Times article, Chris Arnold, the communications director for Chipotle, said, “We have closed 43 restaurants in those markets out of an abundance of caution.” Chipotle, in an official statement, affirmed that the outbreak has been cleared and taken care of:
“All 43 restaurants in the affected area will be opening again soon. To ensure there is no ongoing risk of this in [Chipotle] restaurants, [Chipotle] has taken a number of steps. [They] have tested food, restaurant surfaces and equipment in [their] restaurants. To date [they] have received more than 2,500 test results, all negative for E. coli.”
Chipotle has been directly updating its customers through their website about the situation and the numerous precautions and safety measures they have taken following the incident. According to their official page, Chipotle has been working alongside government agencies at all levels to ensure stringent food safety measures are in place. Chipotle has also conducted nationwide deep cleaning and sanitization at all locations. The 43 restaurants that closed, have had all their ingredients replaced as well.
Yet, the cause of the outbreak has not been determined. By the time illnesses were reported, the offending ingredients were either consumed or no longer served in the restaurants. However, Chipotle was able to confirm that the E-Coli did not stem through its employees.
To those affected by the contamination, Chipotle has reached out and offered assistance. Chipotle stressed in its statement how the safety of its customers and integrity of its food supply is and has always been their top priority:
“We offer our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by this situation, and will continue to cooperate with health authorities as they look to conclude the investigation.”
Thumbnail Image Courtesy of The Standard Daily.