Chipotle E. Coli Outbreak News Update: Another Five Cases Recorded, Infected With Different Strain; Fast Food Chain To Close More Branches?

By Nica Virtudazo, Parent Herald December 24, 10:51 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Monday that it is investigating Chipotle for another E. coli outbreak. News reports claimed that a total of five people have been infected with a different strain.

CDC informed that the five new cases were identified in Oklahoma (3), Kansas (1) and North Dakota (1). All ill people claimed eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill a week before the symptoms were observed.

Health officials stated that an unusual DNA fingerprint of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 026 (STEC 026) was found and linked to the popular fast food chain. However, it was clarified that these newly-recorded illnesses were not included in the case count of the previously reported outbreak since it is still not known whether or not these cases are related to STEC 026 infections.

To recall, there were 53 people in nine states who were reportedly infected earlier this month. Of these cases, at least 43 of them had reported eating to Chipotle in the week prior to their illness.

On Dec 4., seven more people were reportedly infected in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Illinois. Time shared that the fast food chain subsequently closed a total of 43 branches across Washington and Oregon.

Meanwhile, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold stated that the company has already anticipated that the number of patients would rise any time. "We have indicated before that we expected that we may see additional cases stemming from this, and CDC is now reporting some additional cases," he confessed.

Following the E. coli outbreak, Chipotle has increased its food safety measures. As a matter of fact, it started testing all local produce before it gets to restaurants as well as testing the quality of ingredients throughout their shelf life. "With all of these programs in place, we are confident that we can achieve a level of food safety risk that is near zero," Chris said.

What do you think should Chipotle do to end this E. coli outbreak? Share us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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