In October a severe E. coli outbreak affected a total of 43 people, out of which 28 were located in Washington and 15 in Oregon. Numerous complaints pointed to food from Chipotle Mexican Grill having caused symptoms of this infection.
Usually patients infected with E. coli suffer from watery or bloody diarrhea along with abdominal pain within one to 10 days. Mostly these diseases are resolved on their own within a week’s time but sometimes one may need hospitalization.
Chipotle instantly took the responsibility and shut down all of their 43 outlets in the Pacific Northwest market area as a precautionary method. After this, several tests and sterilizations were conducted along with a complete change of all ingredients in all the outlet kitchens, according to a report by the New York Times.
According to health officials all outlets of Chipotle restaurants in Washington may be reopened as soon as Wednesday because most samples tested negative for E. coli that were linked to the October outbreak.
Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington’s epidemiologist for communicable disease said that after this, Chipotle restaurant has left no stone un-turned to ensure safety. Several thousand tests were conducted and all the results have turned out to be negative for the Shiga poison making E. coli O26 bacteria. It is the same bacteria that was the cause of the outbreak in Oregon and Washington.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. had, by choice, closed all 43 restaurant outlets when reports surfaced of an outbreak linked to their food in October.
Out of the 43 people known to be infected, 14 have been hospitalized due to the E. coli outbreak, but no reports of any deaths or complications have yet been made. Three of hospitalizations were in Oregon according to Katrina Hedberg, MD, state health officer with OHA’s Public Health Division.
However, prior opening up its outlets again, Chipotle must meet some requirements decides by the state. These measures include detailed cleaning of the restaurants, tossing all eatables and having a thorough check up of all employees for E. coli infection.
Lindquist said, additionally the restaurants chain, Chipotle, must initiate a second produce rinse to their present set of rules and go through inspections by local health officials. Chipotle has already agreed to conducting tests of foods that are high risk prior sending them to restaurants.
If these conditions are followed, Chipotle may begin shipping produce to the restaurants coming Tuesday and reopen on Wednesday.