Boston health officials have upped the tally of people with confirmed cases of norovirus after eating at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Cleveland Circle, reporting Friday the count had reached 136.
In the most recent Seattle case, the restaurant received red violations on three consecutive visits from health inspectors, according to a blog by officials at Public Health – Seattle & King County.
The city shut down a Chipotle in the South Lake Union neighborhood on Thursday after multiple inspections found it failed to keep food hot enough.
Chipotle closed all of its 43 restaurants in Washington and OR in late October after the outbreak was linked to food from restaurants in the area.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is spread by contaminated food, improper hygiene, and contact with contaminated surfaces.
On the same day, Boston College increased the number of students who have reported feeling ill after a group of them ate at Chipotle from 120, to 141. The Denver headquartered company said that it is working hard to solve the issue, but Chipotle doesn’t have definitive “yes” to question: Whether it’s safe to eat at the company’s restaurant. Based on data from the Center for Disease Control, it appears that from 2009 to 2014, less than 3 percent of norovirus outbreaks sickened 80 or more people, and only 1.3 percent sickened 140 people or more.
In case the test results do reveal that there was no E. coli outbreak, it would be reassuring in some manner for Chipotle, which has been trying to reassure its consumers over the course of the past few weeks. Though the outbreak was widely associated with Chipotle restaurant chain, the FDA clarified that investigation is still ongoing to determine what specific food is linked to the outbreak.
The company has said it is tightening its food safety procedures, and that some of its local produce suppliers might not be able to meet the new standards.
Marler reported that some of his clients experienced symptoms such as severe vomiting and diarrhea.
That was followed by the norovirus contagion and the additional violations in Seattle, signaling that there may still be gaps in Chipotle’s safety net.
“I know the consultants that Chipotle has hired and they’re really some of the best”, he said. The state health department and CDC were notified, he said.
All the restaurants in the building including one of Starbucks have been closed, and Marler added that people looked a bit uncomfortable in the crowded lifts.
A further nine Chipotle outlets were handed unsatisfactory ratings after being evaluated by Public Health Officials – Kent, Renton, Southcenter Mall, Downtown Seattle, Issaquah, Redmond, Woodinville and two in Bellevue.