At the beginning of the month, Chipotle announced it’d be closing 43 stores in the Pacific Northwest region after customers who had enjoyed their burritos (not to mention two dollars’ worth of guacamole) mysteriously got infected with E.coli, a bacteria that can cause uncontrollable diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and respiratory illness (among other things). Now the chain’s going to have to do much more because instead of getting better, people are getting worse, with new cases cropping up in California, New York, and Ohio in addition to those already reported in Washington, Oregon, and Minnesota.
The scariest thing about this outbreak isn’t the fact that it’s spreading (although that sucks, too), but the fact that the authorities investigating what’s causing the spread have no idea which ingredient is actually responsible for bringing in the infection. And while the chances of you getting sick at a Chipotle this weekend are low—only 45 people have been affected, although the Associated Press reports some cases may not have been reported yet—at least you’re going in armed with the knowledge that it could potentially happen.
Chipotle’s already reopened most of the stores it closed at the beginning of the month and the company’s spokesperson said that the burrito giant isn’t planning on shuttering any more of its locations in response to this latest news. Instead, restaurants went through thorough cleanings and had all their ingredients replaced. With investigators now looking through the restaurant’s supply orders, the company believes the ingredient that’s been sneaking the bacteria in will soon be identified.
No deaths have yet been reported due to the outbreak.
(Via the Associated Press)