Chipotle Customer Tested Positive For Norovirus

Image courtesy of Kerry Lannert

The day after a Virginia Chipotle reopened following a temporarily closure for sanitization after more than a dozen patrons reported becoming ill after eating at the restaurant, one customer has tested positive for norovirus.

Reuters reports that health officials in Virginia confirmed Thursday that at least one of the people who reported becoming ill after dining at the Sterling restaurant has norovirus.

A Loudoun County Public Health Department officials say that stool sample tests from the customer — who dined at the restaurant late last week — returned positive for norovirus, confirming Chipotle’s previous assertion that the virus was responsible for the illnesses.

Norovirus differs from contaminations like E.coli and salmonella, as it doesn’t originate in food.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 70% of outbreaks originate when a sick person serves food. The virus can also spread to people who happen to be in a room where someone with the virus vomits.

Temporary Closure

The Sterling restaurant reopened Wednesday, nearly two days after it closed amid reports that diners had become ill.

Eight reports on the site indicated 13 customers fell sick after eating at the restaurant between July 14 and July 15.

In all, customers reported “vomiting violently” and “violent stomach cramps” for several days after eating at the restaurant. At least one person made two trips to the hospital.

Chipotle executives said that cleaning crews thoroughly sanitized all surfaces in the restaurant prior to the reopening.

“The safety and well-being of our customers is always our top priority,” Steve Ells, Chipotle CEO, said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that anyone became ill after visiting our restaurant, and when we learned of this issue, we took aggressive action to correct the problem and protect our customers.”

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