This Fast-Food Chain Is the Likely Source of a New Norovirus Outbreak
About a dozen people in Aurora, Colo. have come down with gastrointestinal symptoms similar to those caused by the norovirus after eating at a local Chipotle restaurant, health officials have confirmed.
According to Food Safety News, shortly after eating at the location of the fast-casual chain on 6710 S Cornerstar Way, as many as five high school students and six other people from the area came down with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low-grade fever, and body aches.
Customer Kristi Ryan told a local television station that her family fell ill within 36 hours after eating three burritos, a burrito bowl, and a small soft taco from the Chipotle restaurant. The symptoms were particularly severe for her eight-year-old daughter who was admitted to urgent care due to dehydration.
Ryan contacted the chain's location as well as the corporate headquarters located in California, but the chain didn't provide anyone who could talk to the family and simply directed her to their website. She said she wants someone from Chipotle to take responsibility for her family's food poisoning.
Meanwhile, state and local health authorities confirmed they are investigating the Chipotle location near Denver as a potential culprit of the foodborne illness outbreak, which they said is consistent with the norovirus. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the local Tri-County Health Department, are involved in the investigation.
"The investigation is ongoing, and at this time, the cause of the illness has not been identified," said the CDPHE in a statement. "Symptoms appear to be consistent with viral gastroenteritis, which is often caused by norovirus. So far, CDPHE has identified a total of 8 ill patrons and employees. Public health officials are working closely with the restaurant, which has implemented disease control measures."
This isn't the first time Chipotle is being investigated for making customers sick. The chain grappled with a series of food safety issues in 2015, when dozens of their locations across the Midwest were identified as sources of an E. Coli outbreak. By the end of the year, the chain was blamed for sickening hundreds of people in five separate outbreaks of E.Coli, Salmonella, and Norovirus across the country.
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