This week one of the most popular fast food restaurants, Chipotle, was accused of giving over 30 people E. Coli in the states of Washington and Oregon. Upon this news, Chipotle immediately closed 43 restaurants in those two states out of caution.
Katrina Hedberg, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority, said there are 12 confirmed cases of E. Coli in the state and at least eight of those people became ill after eating at Chipotle. While in Washington it was reported there were 25 people sickened and 23 of those people ate at Chipotle.
Hedberg is encouraging anyone who has eaten at Chipotle, and is experiencing symptoms of extreme diarrhea, to immediately seek health care.
Along with closing 43 restaurants, Chipotle also stated in their press release that they would be taking the following actions:
- Conducting additional deep cleaning and full sanitization of its restaurants in the area;
- Conducting environmental testing in its restaurants, and food testing in its restaurants and distribution centers in addition to testing being conducted by health department officials;
- Replacing all food items in the restaurants we closed, out of an abundance of caution;
- Batch testing some ingredients before resupplying;
- Continuing to help in the investigation; and
- Retaining two preeminent food safety consulting firms (including Seattle-based IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group) to help the company assess and improve upon its already high standards for food safety.
Steven Ellis, Chairman and Co-CEO of Chipotle said in a statement “The safety of our customers and integrity of our food supply has always been our highest priority.” Ellis continued to say they work with very fresh ingredients to serve customers with the best quality and push themselves to do better.
The investigating health officials have determined no official cause, but continued investigation is occurring.
It’s safe to say I’ll be avoiding Chipotle, possibly all fast food chains that sell meat products, until the investigation is wrapped up. I wonder if this Chipotle E. Coli outbreak has anything to do with the 167 K of ground beef that the USDA recalled earlier today?
This is what the public is saying about Chipotle: