Cause of Food Poisoning at Chipotle Restaurants Remains a Mystery, Even in the Midst Second Outbreak

 Posted on January 10, 2016 in Food Poisoning

By Timothy Tomasik

Chipotle food poisoning, Chicago personal injury law firmChipotle, well-known for their fresh, often locally sourced foods, is one of the most popular fast food chains in the United States. Unfortunately, the restaurants have started making headlines for a completely different reason; now associated with nearly 500 food poisoning incidents, they are currently in the midst of their second official outbreak, and officials are still uncertain of the cause.

First Wave of Incidents

Food poisoning incidents began back in August, with 234 customers and employees becoming sick from norovirus at a Chipotle in Simi Valley, California. Next came the salmonella-tainted tomatoes at 22 different Minnesota locations that caused 64 illnesses and nine hospitalizations in August and September. Dozens more were sickened by norovirus in Boston, where multiple safety violations were later uncovered. But the most widespread outbreak—one that has yet to be resolved—occurred in the Northwestern region of the United States.

Connected to at least 53 illnesses and 20 hospitalizations in nine different states, the outbreak occurred mostly in Oregon and Washington in October 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working to investigate what might have caused the outbreak of E. coli infections, but so far, no source has been found.

Second Outbreak May be Connected to Northwestern Outbreak

The most recent outbreak, which has caused illnesses in five people throughout three states in the Midwestern region, has also been caused by a strain of E. coli. However, the gene variation seems to be slightly different. Because of this, the CDC is classifying this as an independent outbreak, separate from the one that swept through the Northwest. However, experts do believe that the two may somehow be connected, possibly by a common ingredient used in all Chipotle restaurants.

Chipotle Suffering Loss Due to Outbreaks

In response to the outbreaks, Chipotle has recently unveiled a new safety plan that includes repeated testing of fresh ingredients, improved employee training, and additional food preparation precautions. Unfortunately, those measures have done little to save the restaurant from a decrease in sales. Their stocks are still declining, and a Reuters poll recently found that nearly 25 percent of all Americans are aware of the outbreak and are now eating at the fresh fast food restaurant less often.

Food Poisoning at a Restaurant? You May be Entitled to Compensation

According to the CDC, approximately 48 million Americans fall ill each year because of contaminated food. The majority of those illnesses stem from restaurant sources, such as Chipotle. If this has happened to you or someone you love, you may be entitled to compensation to for your medical bills, time missed from work, and other relevant expenses.

The skilled Chicago personal injury attorneys at Tomasik Kotin Kasserman can help. Experienced in the art of investigating personal injury cases and their causes, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of food poisoning victims. Call 312-605-8800 today and schedule your free initial consultation to learn more.


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