Chipotle Closes 43 Locations Amidst E. Coli Outbreak
Chipotle has voluntarily closed 43 units in Oregon and Washington after health officials linked an E. coli outbreak to a handful of Chipotle restaurants in the area.
According to CNN, 19 people in Washington and three people in Portland, Oregon, reportedly contracted E.coli, and the outbreak was traced back to the Mexican-themed chain. Nobody has died of the illness, but seven people infected in Washington were hospitalized, and one of the Portland patients was as well. The 22 cases appear to have been traced back to Chipotle, but the specific source of the contamination is still unknown, and the health department is investigating.
"While the outbreak appears to be linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants, the food or other source of contamination hasn't yet been determined and remains under investigation," the Washington State Department of Health said in a statement.
CNN reports that six Chipotle locations are being investigated as potential sources of the outbreak, but Chipotle responded to the news by closing 43 restaurants while the health department investigates.
"We immediately closed all of our restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems," said Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold in a statement.