• Chipotle’s E. Coli Crisis Spreads To Three New States

    E. Coli infections linked to Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle have spread to three new states, according to an update from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The company that champions its natural ingredients suffered embarrasment after an E. coli outbreak forced it to close 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon in early November. Many of those who were infected said they had eaten at Chipotle.

    On Friday, the CDC said three more states had been added to the list, extending the total number of states affected to six. Forty-five people have been infected and they’re spread across New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, California and Minnesota.

    “The epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that a common meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states is a likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC said on Friday. Chipotle’s share price dropped almost 10 percent to $552 after the CDC’s announcement.

    The ingredient has not been publicly identified, but has been described as “common.”

    In wake of the original outbreak in Oregon and Washington, Chipotle hired consultants on food safety and had its restaurants thoroughly cleaned.

    “In response to this incident, Chipotle has taken aggressive steps to make sure its restaurants are as safe as possible. There have been no reported new cases in Washington or Oregon since Chipotle put its remediation plan into effect,” the restaurant chain told Bloomberg.

    Chipotle’s ingredients  have caused the company a number of headaches, with disputes over whether its produce is actually free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as the company claimed, and whether or not that is a wise decision for consumers.

    In August, a California woman filed a lawsuit against the chain for false advertising after the company heavily promoted its controversial decision to abandon all GMOs in its ingredients.

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