Lawsuits in California, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington
Norovirus: The Ventura County Public Health has reported 98 customers and 17 employees of the subject Chipotle restaurant were sickened on August 18 and 19, 2015. After customers reported the illnesses to Chipotle, the restaurant notified health department officials and closed on Friday afternoon, August 18, to clean and bring in new food. An inspection of the Chipotle location that the health department posted online set forth in detail the following referenced violations:
- The premises and/or floors, walls, or ceiling are in an unsanitary condition.
- Equipment or utensils are not clean, fully operative and in good repair.
- Flying insects were observed within the food facility.
- Food handlers employed at this facility do not possess a valid food handler card and/or records documenting that food employees possess a valid food handler card are not maintained by the food facility for review as required.
- Equipment is connected directly to the sewer.
- Wall and/or ceiling surfaces are deteriorated and/or damaged.
- The restroom is unclean and in disrepair.
Salmonella: The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) have identified tomatoes as the source of the Salmonella Newport outbreak that has sickened dozens of people who ate at Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota since late August. Investigators are working with state and federal partners to trace the tomatoes back to the farm of origin.
Since the outbreak was reported in early September, additional illnesses have been confirmed by MDH. A total of 64 cases and 22 locations now have been linked to the outbreak. Nine people have been hospitalized. The cases range in age from 10 to 69 years and are from 13 metro counties and several greater Minnesota counties.
E. coli O26: The Washington State Department of Health and the Oregon Health Authority are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) infections. CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are assisting with the investigation. As of November 5, 2015:
- 40 ill people have been reported from Washington (28) and Oregon (12).
- 12 people have been hospitalized: 10 in Washington and 2 in Oregon.
- There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and no deaths.
Laboratory testing is ongoing to determine the DNA fingerprint of the STEC O26 bacteria making people sick. These DNA fingerprints are uploaded to the CDC PulseNet database as they become available. 10 isolates from ill people in Washington (7) and Oregon (3) have been uploaded to the CDC PulseNet database. All 10 people were infected with STEC O26 that has the same DNA fingerprint. CDC conducted a preliminary search of the PulseNet database and did not find other illnesses that appear to be related to the outbreak in Washington and Oregon. Laboratory testing is continuing.
Washington and Oregon report that most of the ill people ate at several locations of Chipotle Mexican Grill in those states before getting sick.