Is Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak over? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is, so the company might soon start cleaning up their image.
- The E. coli virus was the first to register an outbreak at Chipotle
- There were two separated but believed to be related outbreaks
- The E. coli outbreaks sickened a total of 60 people, hospitalizing 22
- The CDC announced that the E. coli outbreaks are over, but did not find their source
Problems at Chipotle started in the summer of 2015, with several reports of E. coli determining officials to announce an outbreak. The first one sicked 55 people, among which 21 were hospitalized, which prompted an investigation. It was not long before a second outbreak of E. coli was reported. Although only 5 people were sickened and just one ended in the hospital, it send officials into a frenzy when it spread to around 14 states in the U.S. .
Chipotle, in turn, closed around 43 of their restaurants within the affected regions, hoping for an end to the outbreaks. And, hopefully, find an answer to its source. While the E. coli virus causes uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea, it’s mostly not fatal. However, there is a risk of complications, which can lead to kidney failure and even death. Fortunately, no fatalities were recorded during the two outbreaks.
However, the hits just kept on coming, with reports of separate foodborne diseases reported. Customers in Boston and California announced an infection with norovirus, after 140 students reported, and salmonella, with 64 people falling ill in Minnesota. The former prompted matters to escalate, with officials slapping Chipotle with a subpoena and demanding all their documents regarding their products. To this day, the Mexican food grill chain is still facing the possibility of criminal charges for sickening hundreds of people.
If there is any indication that the owners either knew of the possibility of an infection or could even prevented, they could potentially be serious consequences.
On February 8th, Chipotle will be closing all their restaurants to have a national team meeting to discuss how to deal with the problems. This includes an aggressive revamping of the way they prepare their food, food safety issues, along with matters with sickened workers.
Recently though, the CDC announced that the E. coli outbreak is officially over. So, that’s one down, two more crisis to go.
According to the CDC, they could not find the source of the disease. The Mexican food grill is known for combining meat and vegetables in numerous ways, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise product that caused the outbreaks. Regardless, the investigation is closed and the source of the disease has been deemed gone now. However, there’s still a long way to go.
Chipotle is preparing a massive marketing effort mid-February to regain its reputation and, hopefully, the majority of its clients. Given its current crisis though, it’s likely that Chipotle will soon be the cleanest place to eat on Earth, barring any sort of hospital isolation room.
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