Chipotle Restaurant in Virginia Closed After Reports of Illness

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 18, 2017

The symptoms of the cases of illness reported thus far are typical of the gastrointestinal bug, norovirus.

(NYSE:CMG) shares were in a steep decline Tuesday morning, after the company closed a restaurant in Sterling, Virginia amid dozens of reports of customers getting extremely sick.

Marsden said they are working with health authorities to confirm the cause of the illnesses in Sterling, outside Washington, D.C. Norovirus can spread quickly in closed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Denver-based company notes that norovirus does not come from its food supply and it is safe to eat at its restaurants.

The chain's head of food safety, Jim Marsden, said in a statement to NBC News that the symptoms customers reported were consistent with norovirus, a highly contagious virus stemming from contaminated food. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

The move follows a series of foodborne-illness outbreaks in 2015 that sent Chipotle's sales and stock price plunging.

Marsden said the affected store would likely reopen later today.

"Friday 7/14 Daughter and friends went to Chipotle", one customer wrote on iwaspoisoned.com. A norovirus outbreak in a Boston Chipotle sickened almost 150 customers. Almost 120 Boston College students reported sickness in 2015 due to an outbreak at a restaurant close to the campus.

Of course, food safety issues at Chipotle are a different sort of discussion than most brands.

Shares of Chipotle is now down 6 percent on the NYSE.

Norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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