PhotoFederal health officials say a foodborne illness outbreak linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants spread last week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said seven more people have been reportedly sickened in a total of nine states. But the connection to the restaurant chain is less certain among the latest cases.

Of the three most recent illnesses reported in November, only one ill person, whose illness started on November 10, reported eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill in the week before their illness began. The investigation is still ongoing to determine what specific food is linked to illness.

Illness reported in nine states

The CDC says 52 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 have been reported from nine states. The majority of illnesses have been reported from Washington and Oregon during October 2015.

The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows:

  • California (3)
  • Illinois (1)
  • Maryland (1)
  • Minnesota (2)
  • New York (1)
  • Ohio (3)
  • Oregon (13)
  • Pennsylvania (1)
  • Washington (27)

Age one to 94

The illnesses were first reported on October 19, 2015 and resulted in the temporary closure of a number of Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. The illness continued through November 13, 2015. The people who got sick range in age from one year to 94, with a median age of 21.

Fifty-nine percent of people who got sick are female. Twenty people reported being hospitalized. There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome and no deaths.

Of the most recent illnesses, only one victim reported eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill in the week before their illness began. But the CDC says the epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that a common meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states is a likely source of this outbreak.

About 90% of the people who got sick reported eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in the week before their illness started. However, the investigation has not identified what specific food is linked to illness.

The CDC, along with state and local public health partners, are keeping up laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview them. The agency says consumers should contact a health care provider if they recently became ill with diarrheal symptoms after eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant.


Share your Comments