Chipotle's E. Coli Outbreak Spreads To 9 States [UPDATED]

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Update: Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Chipotle's E. coli outbreak appears to be over. The ingredient that caused the outbreak is still unknown.

This story was originally published on December 5, 2015.

Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak has spread to nine states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases have been reported in Illinois, Maryland, California, Ohio, Washington, and Pennsylvania, among other states. Two of the new cases occurred in October, while five happened in November. In total, 52 people have contracted E. coli, according to the CDC. However, only 47 of those infected ate at a Chipotle restaurant a week before experiencing symptoms. No deaths have been reported, though two patients are experiencing kidney failure.
“Among people for whom information is available, illnesses started on dates ranging from October 19, 2015, to November 13, 2015,” the CDC said. “Of the three most recent illnesses reported, only one ill person reported eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill in the week before their illness began.”

The spread of E. coli at Chipotle restaurants is costing it dearly. Chipotle estimates that sales have fallen between 8 and 11% while its stock shares fell 18% in 2015.
Chipotle isn’t the only national restaurant chain experiencing an outbreak. Starbucks recalled its Holiday Turkey and Stuffing panini in California, Oregon, and Nevada after Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. issued a voluntary recall for the celery and onions included in the menu item. Taylor Farms’ celery products are also included in Costco’s rotisserie chicken salad, which has also been recalled after the Montana Department of Health found E. coli.
Symptoms of E. coli can range from severe stomach cramps to vomiting. Most people are able to recover in five to seven days, but some E.coli infections are life-threatening.

The United Nations health agency estimates that about 600 million people around the world consume tainted food every year. In the United States alone, 48 million people contract food-borne
illnesses and 3,000 Americans die from it.

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