Chipotle Is Making Its Diners Sick ... Again
Well, a bunch more people have gotten sick after eating Chipotle.
A Chipotle restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., closed down on July 17 after a number of customers reported norovirus-like symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, reports The New York Times.
As an added precaution, the fast-casual Mexican-inspired store remained closed until the following day to allow for cleaning and employee monitoring, David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, told The Times. In the meantime, a stool sample was sent to a lab to test for norovirus.
"We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible," Jim Marsden, Chipotle's executive director of food safety, told Business Insider. "The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus. Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle."
Norovirus typically pops up from personal hygiene issues, such as an employee who didn't wash their hands after using the restroom. It is the most common type of foodborne illness in the U.S. and causes more than 21 million cases per year.
A number of complaints on iwaspoisoned.com state that sick customers had symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting and fevers.
"Wife and I ate chicken bowls Friday night," one such report says, according to Business Insider. "Puking brains out Saturday night and Sunday."
Another said that at least one person was hospitalized for dehydration, pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
"This is the worst that I have ever seen," the report says. "Severe food borne illnesses can cause long-term damage to the gastro-intestinal track. This was BAD!"
Chipotle was in the midst of a sales comeback after several foodborne illness outbreaks including e. coli, salmonella and norovirus wreaked havoc on the chain within a six-month time span in 2015, notes The Washington Post.
After closing more than 2,000 locations in February 2016 for food-safety training and subsequently putting out free offers and other marketing attempts to present the chain as clean and safe, Chipotle's plummeting sales had finally began to creep back up.
We'll see where it goes from here -- all I know is that if they offer me free guac, I wouldn't dream of turning it down.