Many have become ill across state lines from e coli food poisoning, related to eating at Chipotle restaurants (Mexican Grill). National health officials are distressed about the outbreak and since the announcement shares for the company have been much lower.
Creating More Concerns
Not only do food poisoning outbreaks affect the country by creating concerns within the minds of the people, it also impacts the companies’ involved directly, or indirectly. Chipotle is not the first company suffering from the effects of such an announcement publicly.
Currently, nine different states are involved within the unhealthy breakout including: Ohio, Minnesota, California, New York, Washington, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Additional findings related to this outbreak will be announced by the US Center for Disease Control.
No Deaths Reported
Over a dozen individuals have been placed in the hospital with severe symptoms, while many more cases have been reported through physicians’ offices. No deaths are publicly reported at this time for this specific instance. The “strain” involved for this number of individual cases (45 plus) is the 026 strain.
Genuinely, Chipotle works to provide food which is healthy as well as fresh for the community. They carry a company tag line of “Food with Integrity.” Unfortunately, this is the third food safety issue which the company has had within the last twelve months. Over time, the company’s stock has tumbled downward by at least twelve percent.
The source of the most recent contamination is yet to be revealed. At this time, a few produce items are suspect in the investigation. Produce is likely the culprit since high temperatures will kill e coli strains during the cooking process of meats prepared. The investigation results are still pending.
As more and more restaurants are asking for fresh produce items, this can create a problem to insuring dangerous pathogens are destroyed. If poisonous strains are present within this type of food and there is no high heat applied during preparations, then this poses a huge problem.
What is Chipotle Doing?
In the beginning, Chipotle closed over forty restaurants in the area of the first outbreak. Then, the company reopened some units after deep cleaning food areas and making food replacements. They also hired experts in the area of food safety, testing, and preparation methods.
One may wonder why the number of exposures continue to go up. This is often a result of further investigations which result in adding cases to the list of contacts.
How are the Customers Reacting?
Some customers are shying away from Chipotle altogether to be on the “safe side.” There are those who are sorely troubled about the news. It is common for sales to be impacted after such public health announcements, due to the cautiousness of consumers.
All the while, there are some individuals still visiting their favorite Chipotle restaurants in different areas to order their favorite foods from the menu. On the other hand, members who visit may be taking a second look in how clean the location is as well as checking for any signs of “uncleanliness.”
The Investigation Continues
The investigation into this health concern continues. There is a culprit to be found somewhere within the process. It can take a bit of time to find the common denominator. One attorney in Seattle (Marler) specified as more people are added to the list and interviewed the chances will increase in finding the exact carrier of the unhealthy strain.
The Centers for Disease Control is working on this case as well as one additional case in another area. The additional circumstance involves cucumbers which have been imported into the US and have resulted in four people dying. In this particular case, Salmonella (Poona) found on the food items are linked to the deaths.