Chipotle’s Food Safety Woes Sicken Boston College Students
Just as things had started to die down after a foodborne outbreak closed 43 Chipotle Mexican Grill locations on the West Coast, a new outbreak seems to have developed on the East Coast.
As of Tuesday, the Boston Public Health Department (BPHD) confirmed that 80 students from Boston College had fallen ill with norovirus after dining at a Chipotle restaurant near campus. That location has since been temporarily closed for further investigation.
In a statement, Chipotle said, “We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related to the previous E. coli incident. There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.”
During an inspection on Monday, health officials did come across some violations at Boston’s Cleveland Circle Chipotle location--meat stored at unsafe temperatures, and and a sick staff member had come into work.
According to BPHD, the students’ norovirus symptoms are not consistent with those that typically accompany E. coli. Speaking of which, Chipotle is still investigating that multistate E. coli outbreak that reared its head in October, ultimately infecting at least 52 people in nine states, primarily Oregon and Washington. The source of that contamination has still not been disclosed.
Last Friday, Chipotle released details of the company’s enhanced food safety program. And this week, the company said that they may be forced to raise menu prices next year to cover the cost of that program, not to mention the plummeting sales over the past 2 months.
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