43 Chipotle Restaurants In Oregon And Washington State Close Due To E. Coli Outbreak

There’s a promotion at Chipotle tonight where people who wear costumes that include something extra, or a scary “unnecessary additive,” get burritos for $3. Yet restaurants in two states have closed today “out of an abundance of caution” because of something even scarier: an apparent outbreak of Shiga toxin E. coli in recent weeks at six restaurants in Oregon and Washington.

Since not all patients may have sought medical attention, the actual number of people who are sick is likely much higher than the official figures. As of this writing, that’s three illnesses in Oregon and 19 in Washington.

E. coli illness is miserable and inconvenient for most people, featuring abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea. However, people who are sick should be monitored for signs of dehydration, and young children and elderly people are susceptible to kidney failure.

A total of 43 restaurants have closed in counties where infections were reported. If you’ve eaten at a Chipotle restaurant in either state and become ill, seek medical attention so your doctor can take samples for public health authorities and monitor your symptoms.

In a statement, Chipotle said that they closed restaurants where no illnesses had been reported voluntarily, and they’re working on finding the cause of the contamination:

The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our highest priority. After being notified by health department officials in the Seattle and Portland areas that they were investigating approximately 20 cases of E. coli, including people who ate at six of our restaurants in those areas, we immediately closed all of our restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems. We are working with health department officials to determine the cause of this issue. We offer our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by this situation.

This has raised an interesting question: will customers in those states have to miss out on the Halloween promotion?

seattle_boorito

E. coli Cases Linked to Chipotle Restaurants [Oregon Health Authority]
Oregon and Washington Chipotles close after 22 sick from E. coli [KATU]