Chipotle Closes For Hepatitis A Outbreak, Have A Coupon!

An anonymous tipster wrote to us about how Chipotle, known for their delicious, healthy burritos, handled a Hepatitis A outbreak at his neighborhood store. This might be the one case of a corporation giving you something for free, and it not making the situation any better. Read his letter, inside.


So, I went to the Chipotle around the corner from my house yesterday to find that it was closed. As I stepped out of my car, some lady asked if I was headed to Chipotle and told me that it was closed today due to “operational issues.” She gave me a card for a free burrito and sent me on my way. Later that day, my roommate told me he saw Health Inspectors in there the day before snapping photos of the workers and the establishment.

Today, I come to find out it was closed because it had suffered a Hepatitis A outbreak. 6 people have contracted the disease between March 1 and April 22 with the only thing connecting them is the fact that they ate at this particular La Mesa location.

I have also eaten there many, many times and now I have to go get checked to make sure I Chipotle didn’t give me Hepatitis A.

Just thought I’d let you guys know.

Here is a link with more information:

Hope to find out more information on this, please help.


Well, if you trust Wikipedia more than you do your doctor, then you shouldn’t worry too much if you burrito did actually give you hepatitis A. It probably won’t kill you, or permanently damage your liver, you’ll just feel awful for a while. Which is good news, because the number of people infected rose to twelve, according to NBC in San Diego. Oh, and applause to the Chipotle employee who technically didn’t lie when she told our tipster the place was closed for “operational issues”. Having the health department shut you down does tend to get in the way of your day to day operations.



Edit Your Comment

  1. Shutterman says:

    Interesting. Yesterday 2 IHOPs here in Albuquerque had workers test positive for Hep A…

  2. KD17 says:

    After hearing why it was closed I wonder how many will actually redeem the free burrito coupons.

    I would but thats only because I love me some burrito’s beyond normal reasoning.

  3. B says:

    How is giving out the coupons a bad idea? Once they get cleaned up and pass their health inspection, maybe customers will return and use the coupon.

  4. Jabberkaty says:

    Free burrito…. Hep A…
    Free burrito…. Hep A…
    Curse you, Chipotle , no one should have to make this decision!

  5. Scudder says:

    400 people ill in Ohio last month from eating at Chipotle…[]

  6. pine22 says:

    take it to another chipotle lol

  7. renilyn says:

    @KD17: Lil bit of Barbacoa Beef… well shouldn’t that kill most ikkies? hehe

  8. Megatenist says:

    Does Hep A cost extra at Chipolte?

    Because I really need some.Goes great with the Ecoli….

  9. cynu414 says:

    There is another Chipotle just a few miles down the freeway at SDSU. Use the coupon there if you don’t mind dealing with the college crowd.

  10. MexiFinn says:

    Sweet! This is like back when the Arlington, MA Friendly’s had the same issue. This would have been about 4 years ago. I think there was also some outbreaks at a downtown Boston Quizno’s

  11. mgy says:

    I always found it funny that chipotle throws their “we recycle” propaganda across every conceivable piece of trash in the place, yet they still use those wax-coated paper cups which, if I understand correctly, aren’t recyclable. But whatevers!!@$!$!%!@%@!%!@%12561265125125

  12. forgottenpassword says:

    since i eat out at fasty food places a lot ….this is one of my worst fears. Catching TB (or some other contageous & uncurable disease)by some illegal alien fast food worker coughing on my Arby’s roast beef.

  13. Tank says:

    @Shutterman: i think that would that make them IHEP, just sayin

  14. forgottenpassword says:

    @forgottenpassword: (pardon the typo)

    And IF it happened…. I would SUE SUE SUE!!!!!!!!!

  15. steveliv says:

    and the link with more info is a posting from a law firm soliciting victims?

  16. mozillauser says:

    @forgottenpassword: The good news is that TB is generally non-transmittable in the way you fear. Most cases of TB come from repeated exposure to someone that has it (like taking care of a family member with it, or working in a hospital where it is being treated).

    I’m also guessing that the immigration status of the work doesn’t affect how contagious the disease they have is.

  17. Lambasted says:

    “Oh, and applause to the Chipotle employee who technically didn’t lie when she told our tipster the place was closed for “operational issues”. Having the health department shut you down does tend to get in the way of your day to day operations.”


  18. gig says:

    The number of people who have contracted the Hepatitis A from the La Mesa Chipotle is now 18. That’s a pretty serious outbreak.

  19. Wormfather says:

    The good thing about chipotle being partialy owned by mcdonalds is that when stuff like this happens, I blame the McDonalds genes. The naturally raised animals…that there is Chipotle’s mom’s genes.

    Then again, I belive McDonalds walked out on them once they proved to be compitition.

  20. Hamm Beerger says:

    “known for their delicious, healthy burritos”

    Delicious, yes, but healthy they are not. A standard burrito (black beans, rice, sour cream, cheese, and one of the meats) starts at 1108 calories, 42 grams of fat, and 2981 mg (!!!) of sodium (that’s 127% of the RDA).

  21. unklegwar says:

    Symptoms can return over the following 6-9 months which include:[9]

    * Fatigue
    * Fever
    * Abdominal pain
    * Nausea
    * Diarrhea
    * Appetite loss
    * Depression
    * Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
    * Sharp pains in the right-upper quadrant of the abdomen
    * Weight loss

    Sounds like they are just trying to give you the most realistic Mexican dining experience possible.

  22. Doctor Cathattan says:

    Ha-Ha!! O.K. all you Chipotle fanbois out there, let’s see you try to spin this one!

  23. Hamm Beerger says:

    @Wormfather: McDonalds no longer has a stake in Chipotle. Hasn’t since 2004, I think.

  24. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Shame on this guy for eating Chipotle in California in the first place. You can do much better that that trash.

  25. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Shame on this guy for eating at a Californian Chipolte in the first place. You can do much better than that trash.

  26. HIV 2 Elway says:


  27. breals says:

    This is the one near my house. My buddy text’d me when it closed and thank god I don’t eat there often.

  28. forgottenpassword says:


    good then for TB, but for the other contageous diseases?….

    ANd illegal aliens DO bring in contageous diseases with them.

    And illegals DO seem to be taking a lot of the fast food jobs that were mostly filled by teens years ago.

    just sayin….

  29. rmz says:

    @Hamm Beerger: I had assumed (hoped?) that “healthy” was sarcasm.

    “Oh my god, how can you eat fast food? It’s so bad for you! NOM NOM NOM CHIPOTLE 1200 CALORIE BURRITO GOOD”

  30. joemo says:

    Hepatitis outbreaks are common here in the Los Angeles area because of the large numbers of illegal immigrants working in the restaurant business. It’s one of the many problems with not properly dealing with illegal aliens.

  31. alexanderpink says:

    Chipotle is my favorite place to eat, yumm. Luckily Hep A isn’t all that bad on the list of possible food contaminants.

  32. Good reason to get a Hep A vaccination!

  33. sysak says:

    I used to be a Chipotle worker, at all of the restaurants i worked at throughout college, Chipotle was the only one that actually seemed to care about the customers. Managers would randomly give out coupons for no reason or offer free food to everyone on the line because they ran out of chicken for a few minutes. They would take their lunch out into the lobby sit with some customers and just strike up conversation, then give them free burrito coupons and get back to work. I always enjoyed them.

  34. Curiosity says:

    Note the Center for disease control estimates that the incidences of Hep A have gone down throught the years []
    About 32,000 supposedly.

  35. ChuckECheese says:

    Can I sub gamma globulin for the guacamole?

  36. Ragman says:

    It may be 1100 calories for my favorite burrito, but I stay full for half the day!

  37. JoeStupp says:

    I am a current Chipotle employee, and we want you to know that the safety and well-being of our customers is our highest priority. 100% of our crew and managers at our La Mesa restaurant were tested by the health department and 100% of them are clean. All of them have been cleared by the health department to return to work. Additionally, this restaurant has been inspected by the health department five times in the last five months, including two inspections in the last week, and received A grades (or excellent) in each inspection, and is open for normal business.

    And while the health department has not yet reached a conclusion to the source of the hepatitis A cases, we’ll continue to work with them and help them with whatever they ask of us.

    – Joe Stupp, Chipotle

  38. mmstk101 says:


    “Sounds like they are just trying to give you the most realistic Mexican dining experience possible.”

    Lol! Awesome.

  39. katylostherart says:

    oh yay, free burrito. that way the shit that causes hep a blends in with the entree.


  40. moushi says:

    Chipotle has some of the best customer service of any restaurant I’ve ever been to. As the poster above said, they regularly give out free burittos to customers even mildly inconvienenced- in fact, one time I was out of money with my friends at Chipotle, and on a dare I asked the manager if I frestyle rapped about burittos if he’d comp my meal. He told me to save the rap for a record and gave me a free buritto. Stuff like that makes Chipotle one of the best restaurant chains on the market. And I know for a fact they take sanitation and food safety seriously- one of my friends worked there and he said they were incredibly meticulous about cleanliness and food temps and cooking times. It’s really, really sad to see one weak link in the chain bring down this incredible company.

  41. bmwloco says:

    I got Hep A and B shots several years ago as I was doing a lot of international travel and it seemed smart.

    Now I know it was a good move.

    It’s a good move to you, too, if you eat outside of the commercial trough.

    No scratch that. If you eat anywhere lest you grow it and cook it yourself.

  42. Tallanvor says:

    Diseases like Hep A can be passed by anyone. Automatically suggesting that illegal aliens are a likely cause is stupid.

    I’m one of the unlucky people who have had Hep A. It was around 20 years ago now, but it definitely was not good. The time I was actually sick wasn’t that bad – it was much like a somewhat mild version of the flu for me, except that it lasted a good week. Unfortunately, it also left me with a depressed immune system which took about 6 years to recover. –I was generally in the doctor’s office around once a month until after my first semester of high school. Of course, since then, I maybe get the flu every few years and a bad cold once a year.

    Still, it’s not something I recommend to anyone. If you haven’t done so already, get vaccinated so you don’t have to worry about it!

  43. februarymakeup says:

    The Chipotle in Kent, OH (down the road from my house) closed recently for a norovirus outbreak. I SUSPECT CONSPIRACY.

  44. ohnoes says:

    @mozillauser – when one legally immigrates to this country, he or she has to undergo a rigorous physical and health examination. If you have certain diseases (like HIV/AIDS, which can prevent you from getting even a visitor’s visa), you can be denied.

    Since illegal immigrants don’t undergo such a screening, they can bring in diseases that are uncommon in the United States. Chagas, for example, is common in South and Central America, but was historically uncommon in the United States. The number of domestic cases are now increasing in frequency due to the tide of illegal immigrants.

    Like Tallanvor said, though – Hep A is a fairly ubiquitous disease so automatically tossing the illegal immigrant card may not be advisable.

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