• Chipotle outbreak in Oregon, Washington chain's third this year, Mexica

    From Tyler@21:1/5 to All on Fri Nov 6 01:29:38 2015
    XPost: seattle.eats, alt.politics.immigration, alt.society.liberalism
    XPost: soc.women

    The E. coli outbreak announced in Oregon and Washington this
    weekend is the third linked to Chipotle restaurants this year.

    In September, more than 60 people who ate at Chipotle
    restaurants in Minnesota were sickened by salmonella, according
    to the Minnesota Department of Health. In August, nearly 100
    customers and staff were infected by norovirus at a Chipotle
    restaurant in Simi Valley, California, county environmental
    health officials said.

    The popular burrito chain was also linked to four outbreaks that
    sickened hundreds of people in 2009 and 2008 involving E. coli,
    campylobacter, hepatitis A and norovirus, according to health
    officials and news reports.

    The salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter outbreaks were traced
    to produce, often a culprit in foodborne illness cases.

    Norovirus is spread by people and often hepatitis A is, too. In
    the August outbreak, Chipotle staff at the Simi Valley
    restaurant tested positive for norovirus.

    Investigators have yet to nail the source of the latest
    illnesses, the first Chipotle outbreak in the Northwest. Company
    spokesman Chris Arnold said six restaurants were involved. The
    chain voluntarily closed all 43 of its locations in the two

    "This (outbreak) will likely be some type of perishable product,
    whether it's lettuce or cilantro," said Bill Marler, a prominent
    food safety litigator in Seattle . "It would be unusual to have
    six stores undercooking beef at the same time."

    Thorough cooking kills E. coli but it's difficult to wash the
    bacteria off of fresh produce. The salmonella outbreak in
    September in Minnesota was traced to tomatoes, prompting
    Chipotle to switch suppliers.

    Health officials in Oregon and Washington have been working on
    the investigation all weekend. Three patients have been
    identified in Oregon, residents of Washington and Clackamas
    counties. The 19 cases in Washington state are spread among
    Clark, Cowlitz, King and Skagit counties. One person in Oregon
    and seven in Washington have been hospitalized.

    State and county health officials are interviewing patients. The
    Food and Drug Administration is working with the restaurant, and
    the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing the most
    complex testing.

    "Testing is going to be continuing into the new week," said
    James Apa, spokesman for Public Health Seattle & King County.
    "It is still very, very early in the investigation."

    Jonathan Modie, spokesman for Oregon Public Health Division,
    said health officials are trying to determine which restaurant
    or restaurants in Oregon were linked to the outbreak. All three
    patients ate at Chipotle, he said. Almost all of the patients in
    Washington state also dined at the restaurant, Apa said.

    The company declined to name the locations.

    "While the health departments in Washington and Oregon, with
    whom we are working very closely, are conducting investigations
    into possible sources of the problem, we are going to decline to
    discuss details until more is known," said Chris Arnold,
    spokesman for the Denver-based chain.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill has more than 1,500 restaurants in the
    United States, Canada and Britain. It shuns products with
    genetically modified organisms and touts fresh, local and
    sustainable food.

    Marler said this outbreak, on the heels of two others, will
    knock a blow to the brand.

    "They've been growing quite quickly," he said. "Given that
    they've had three outbreaks in a period of two and a half, three
    months, it behooves them to take a pretty strong look at how
    they deal with food safety."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2015/11/chipotle_outb reak_in_oregon_wa.html#incart_story_package

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