A Salmonella outbreak linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota has sickened 45 people since Wednesday, September 2, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The outbreak involves 17 locations, most of them located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Because many cases of salmonellosis go undiagnosed, the number of those sickened is likely to be much higher and health officials want to alert people who have become ill with symptoms of salmonellosis to see a health care provider and mention the outbreak.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. Typically, these symptoms last between four and seven days.About 28 percent of cases require hospitalization. Of those, an invasive, life-threatening form of the infection can occur.
Health investigators say all 45 cases of Salmonella Newport infections have matching or very similar DNA fingerprints. They have interviewed 34 people who became ill. Of those, 32 reported eating at a Chipotle between Aug. 16 to Aug. 26 and becoming ill between Aug. 20 and Aug. 29. During that time frame, Chipotle served more than 560,000 customers in Minnesota.
Most of the restaurant locations are in the Twin Cities metro area. One is in St. Cloud, another is in Rochester.
The case patients range in age from 15 to 67 years and are from eight counties. Fifty six are male. Five were hospitalized but are recovering.
Minnesota health officials are working to identify the food source which they believe to be a produce item. Chipotle has changed the source of the item in question and health investigators believe the transmission of Salmonella at Chipotle has ended.
“Chipotle has been extremely proactive in collaborating with investigators to quickly control the outbreak and identify its source,” said Dana Eikmeier, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Diseases Unit of MDH.
The Chipotle locations involved to date are 7 Corners (Minneapolis), Bloomington, Calhoun, Crystal, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Richfield, Ridgedale, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Lawson, Uptown, and US Bank Plaza (Minneapolis). It is possible that other locations in Minnesota were also affected, but there is no indication that locations outside of Minnesota are involved.