October 30, 2020

One Of the New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks Associated With a Restaurant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that one of the two new E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks is associated with a restaurant. This deadly outbreak, which has sickened twenty-one people in eight states and killed one person from Michigan, is caused by a pathogen that is closely related to the 2018 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that sickened 210 people in 36 states. Patients sickened in this outbreak live in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin. The outbreak notice states, "Several ill people have been identified as part of an illness cluster at a restaurant. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people from different households who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending … [Read more...]

History of E. coli O26 Outbreaks Including Chipotle, Cargill Ground Beef

There are several serotypes of E. coli bacteria that cause serious human illness.  The most common is E. coli O157:H7, but other strains, called non-O157 serogroups, have also caused outbreaks. This is the history of E. coli O26 outbreaks including Chipotle and Cargill ground beef in the United States in the past five years. The most common non-O157 serotypes are E. coli O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145. The government has grouped them into a category they call the "Big Six." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 265,000 people are sickened in this U.S. every year with these infections. E. coli O157:H7 causes about 36% of illnesses, while the Big Six are linked to the rest. In 2011, the USDA declared a zero tolerance policy for these strains, … [Read more...]

Restaurant Food Safety Fails When Training Fails

As food safety lawyers, people have been asking us (from a distance) how worried they should be about COVID-19 and the safety of their takeout food? While we can’t tell them about viral transmission rates via various sources – we’re lawyers, not scientists - we can tell them what we have learned from years of representing people sickened by germs in restaurant food. Good sanitary conditions and safe food preparation processes and procedures (food safety plans) are very important…but it all fails when employee training fails. Obviously, when food safety plans are bad (for example, if they do not include proper testing of food storage areas for correct temperature control or mandate specific locations to keep raw foods from cross-contaminating cooked foods) then germs can spread. Too … [Read more...]

Chipotle Outbreak in Ohio Caused by Clostridium Perfringens; Lawsuits Filed

The huge food poisoning outbreak in Ohio linked to one Chipotle restaurant on Sawmill Parkway in Powell, Ohio was caused by Clostridium perfringens, according to an update posted by the Delaware General Health District. At least 647 people have reported symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal cramps after eating at that restaurant. This bacteria grows in protein-rich and other foods, such as beef and gravy, that are held at unsafe temperatures for too long. The danger zone for bacterial growth is 40°F to 140°F. Laws governing restaurants and food handling prohibit foods held at this temperature for precisely this reason. These outbreaks usually occur in restaurants because large quantities of food can often remain at unsafe temperatures for long periods of time. Although food samples … [Read more...]

Possible Food Poisoning Outbreak at Los Angeles Chipotle

A possible foodborne illness outbreak at Chipotle Mexican Grill in California has been reported by the Los Angeles City Health Department. The city has activated its Acute Communicable Disease Control unit. The facility is located at 4550 West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. There are few details about the outbreak. It was first discovered when people started reporting they were feeling ill after eating there around the middle of December, 2017 on the website I Was Poisoned. Shares of Chipotle stock fell by more than 3% after the news came out. There is no word on how many people have been sickened, what their symptoms were, or if anyone has seen a doctor or been hospitalized. We don't know the possible pathogen; it could be anything. More information about this possible outbreak … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Chipotle in Sterling, VA is Norovirus

The Loudoun County Health Department has announced that the outbreak at the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 21031 Tripleseven Road in Sterling, Virginia is most likely caused by norovirus. The notice states that two ill patrons have tested positive for the same strain of norovirus. Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the Health Department said, "Based on symptoms reported and these preliminary laboratory results, the cause of the outbreak is believed to be norovirus, though the specific source of the norovirus has not yet been identified. The Health Department is not aware of any customers becoming ill since the reopening of the facility last Wednesday." Some of the people who are sick in this outbreak are Chipotle employees. But the source of norovirus is notoriously difficult to track … [Read more...]

Illnesses at Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia

An outbreak of illness has sickened about 60 people after they ate at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia, according to the Loudoun County Health Department. Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the department, said, "one ill patron has tested positive for norovirus. This provides additional information but is not sufficient to determine the cause of the outbreak. The Health Department is awaiting further test results, which should be available early next week." On Monday, July 17, 2017, LCHD was notified by the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 21031 Tripleseven Road, Sterling, VA 20165, and by local medical providers of customers complaining of nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea over the previous two days. The restaurant closed voluntarily. Health Department officials investigated … [Read more...]

Seattle Chipotle Closed for Food Safety Violations

The Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at 212 Westlake Avenue North in Seattle, Washington was closed on Thursday, December 10, 2015 for repeated food safety violations, according to a report on Seattle & King County Public Health. The restaurant had three red violations in three consecutive inspections, which prompted the closure. Red violations are those that are serious enough they can cause foodborne illness. In December 2014, an inspection found that food was being held at less than 130°F (food must be held at 140°F or higher to prevent bacterial growth). In October 2015, violations including improper cooking times and temperatures of food, and improper use of non-continuous cooking. The inspection in November 2015 also found improper hot holding temperatures of less than … [Read more...]

Boston College Norovirus Associated with Chipotle Hits 120

The Massachusetts Department of Health has released a statement about the food poisoning outbreak at Boston College, believed to be associated with the Chipotle restaurant at Cleveland Circle. "Initial testing conducted by the State Public Health has shown the presence of norovirus," the statement reads. Now at least 120 students are sick in that outbreak, which was not an E. coli outbreak, as was originally feared. Boston College released another statement to its community, confirming that the outbreak was norovirus and offering information to the students and staff. At least 80 of the sickened students confirmed that they did eat at the Chipotle restaurant at Cleveland Circle. The Chipotle restaurant in question was closed after the reports of illness started to come in. A City of … [Read more...]

Boston College Reports Food Poisoning Cases: Chipotle?

Boston College Health Services is confirming that at least 30 students, including 8 basketball players, have come to them complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea. The common factor among all of those sickened, according to BC officials, is that they ate at the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been notified, and is working to determine if these illnesses are connected to the nationwide E. coli O26 outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants or if these illnesses are caused by norovirus or another factor. There is no evidence at this time that the illnesses are caused by E. coli bacteria or that Chipotle restaurants are, in fact, involved. The Chipotle restaurant in question at Cleveland Circle has … [Read more...]

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