The Ventura County Public Health office has reported 98 customers and 17 employees at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Simi Valley became sick on August 18 and 19.
An inspection notice posted August 27 on the county’s Environmental Health website identified uncovered hot food held below 135°F and violations observed on a previous inspection that had not been corrected. The previous inspection posted on August 24 cited the restaurant for:
- Equipment connected directly to the sewer;
- Deteriorating and damaged wall and/or ceiling surfaces;
- Unclean restrooms;
- Unsanitary conditions on the premises;
- Equipment, utensils not clean, fully operative and in good repair;
- Flying insects; and
- Food handlers lacking a valid food handler card or records documenting that food handlers possess a valid food handler card.
Over at the food safety crowd sourcing website, www.iwaspoisoned.com, comes the likely cause of the outbreak – Norovirus. Here is a comment:
Hi, my daughter Amanda ate a steak bowl on Tuesday, August 18, Wednesday evening she came down with symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, migraine, dizziness, hallucinations. Vomiting lasted for 12 hours. Migraine and dizziness lasted about 18. She was definitely suffering. Lack of appetite, nausea and some minor neurological symptoms lasted for about four more days. I contacted the health department and they responded right away. They said they wish more people would have contacted them as they cannot reach out and contact people. They were in constant contact with me and ran stool samples and discovered it was positive for Norovirus. They were wonderful to work with and on top of it every step of the way. This was the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever seen and I’m sorry for anyone who suffered through it. Norovirus is highly contagious and the health department was wondering if there was any secondary cases from other people who are we’re in close contact with the original person. Chipotle knew there was a problem but apparently waited until Saturday to call the health department. By then, all the food was gone. Shame on them! My daughter was sick for five days, missed three shifts at work and a class in LA. Her friend was also very sick for five days and missed her first day at college.
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