Health officials have confirmed that new cases of E. coli illness have been reported in Johnson County and North Dakota, and victims in both cases ate at Chipotle Mexican Grill that was previously linked to nearly 150 illnesses in Boston.
The Kansas Department of Health & Environment confirmed new cases of the illness one each in Kansas and North Dakota and three in Oklahoma as part of an update on the wider the illness’ wider outbreak.
All the five victims told authorities that they ate at Chipotle between 18th of November to 26th of November, or around one week before they fell ill.
When contacted, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said, “We have indicated before that we expected that we may see additional cases stemming from this, and the CDC is now reporting some additional cases.”
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) conducted all microbial testing at Chipotle, including as many as 2,500 samples of ingredients, equipment and restaurant surfaces, but didn’t yield E. coli.
Separately, Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Boston location reopened recently, nearly three weeks after food inspectors forced it to close due to E. coli-related illnesses. It was closed after more than 130 Boston College students and other people fell ill after eating at the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Chipotle has announced that it expects its fourth-quarter comparable-restaurant sales to drop 8 to 10 per cent year-over-year, which would mark the first fall in sales in the company’s history.