More Than 600 People Have Reported Illnesses After Eating at Chipotle Restaurant in Ohio
When the health department visited the outpost in Powell, Ohio, to investigate illness claims, they found it was closed.
UPDATE: As of August 9, more than 600 people have reported illnesses following dining at the Ohio-based Chipotle restaurant, according to the Washington Post.
According to the outlet, the Powell, Ohio outpost of the fast-casual chain was restaffed by employees from nearby Chipotles so their staff can take a “24-hour cool-down period,” the manager said.
According to iwaspoisoned.com, a website that tracks food borne illnesses, reports of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been filed to the website which suggested that more than 280 customers felt sick after eating at the burrito chain’s Powell, Ohio outpost.
“Last night we sanitized the restaurant and ordered all new food,” a manager at the restaurant told the New York Post. “Everything is brand new and we are opening at noon.”
Business Insider reports that seven customers contacted the local health department on Sunday and Monday, but when the health officials paid a visit to the restaurant on Monday to investigate the claims, the restaurant was closed. According to the publication, the health department then contacted Chipotle and were notified that the restaurant had received multiple complaints of illnesses. Management at the fast-casual chain told health officials they were unable to get in touch with the health department to report the sickness complaints.
Chipotle also told the health department that two to five staff members called out of work due to sickness on Sunday and Monday, and the restaurant subsequently closed down voluntarily to remove all of the exposed food and single-use equipment, Business Insider reports.
A spokesperson for the local health department told the New York Post that they “don’t know at this point what the bacteria is.”
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This is not Chipotle’s first run-in with the health department. In 2015, the fast-casual chain was cited as a link to food borne illnesses (including E.coli, salmonella, and norovirus), to which they responded by overhauling their food safety standards. In June 2017, an outpost of the restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, was linked to multiple cases of norovirus and voluntarily closed their store.
Reuters reports that as of Monday, shares in the company’s stock went down as much as 9 percent after the incident.
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“We are cooperating with the local health department and the Chipotle restaurant in Powell, OH has reopened,” a representative for Chipotle told PEOPLE. “We acted quickly and closed this single restaurant out of an abundance of caution yesterday and we’ve implemented our food safety response protocols that includes a total replacement of all food inventory and complete cleaning and sanitation of the restaurant.”