E.coli outbreak puts Chipotle, health agencies in crisis mode

The chain has closed dozens of its restaurants voluntarily; a sickened consumer, though, isn’t impressed with the messaging. Officials say identifying the source could take weeks.

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Chipotle prides itself on the many fresh ingredients it offers to customers who frequent its Mexican grills. The company is also enjoying a corporate growth spurt.

However, messaging around an E.coli outbreak has hospitalized nearly 25 patrons in the Pacific Northwest isn’t sitting well with everyone.

Meanwhile, health officials have been alerting consumers as well, saying the crisis could persist.

At a weekend news conference, Dr. Marisa D’Angeli, an epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, said the investigation could take days or weeks. She said Chipotle has been cooperative and voluntarily shut down all its restaurants in the two states.

The Seattle Times reports the source of the outbreak hasn’t been identified yet, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been assisting with the investigation. Health officials also noted that no one has died as a result of the E.coli outbreak linked to the Chipotle suppliers.

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