Criminal Investigation into Chipotle Norovirus Outbreak Comes as the C First Two Chipotle Lawsuits Were Filed against the Chain This Week by Ron Simon & Associates
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s value, as measured by the stock market, dropped an additional 2% this week – the company already is hovering around $350/share – down from a high two years ago of $750. This drop follows yet another food borne illness outbreak and the filing of the first and second Chipotle lawsuits against the company by Ron Simon & Associates. And in yet another blow, the company received yet another subpoena in the criminal investigation of the Sterling, Virginia norovirus outbreak. The last criminal investigation against Chipotle linked to a norovirus outbreak is believed to have been related to the 2015 norovirus outbreak at the Simi Valley location in California. In 2015, and into 2016, there were reports of at least two norovirus outbreaks linked to Chipotle (including California and in the Baltimore region), at least one salmonella outbreak, and another outbreak linked to E. coli (which led to the temporary closure of 43 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest).
Chipotle has acknowledged that the outbreak of norovirus probably resulted from a sick employee. And now, various local news channels have noted that some employees are claiming to have been pressured into working while ill. If true, this would constitute a serious breach of proper food preparation standards, safe restaurant standards, and a commitment to upholding standards of good personal hygiene and food sanitation.
Two Victims in Outbreak Share Same Strain of Norovirus
The Loudoun County Health Department (LCHD) has confirmed that two of the victims (of which there are reports of as many as 135), tested positive for the same strain of norovirus, confirming that the virus did come from the same source. Both of these victims ate at the Sterling Virginia location of the Chipotle Mexican Grill. All of the victims are believed to have eaten at the restaurant between July 13th and 16th.
After closing the Chipotle Mexican Grill for extensive cleaning and sanitation, the restaurant was re-opened. According the company, which is based out of Denver, the norovirus that caused the outbreak is limited to the one location in Sterling – in other words, it is not a company-wide concern as would be seen if the norovirus was coming from a common food source used at more than one location (such as in the E. coli outbreak of 2015).
For more information about Chipotle lawsuits filed, any of the Chipotle norovirus outbreaks, a Chipotle class action lawsuit, or to discuss Chipotle food poisoning in general, call the food safety lawyers at 1-888-33-4901.