Another Chipotle Outbreak? Company Closes MA Store Over Norovirus Concerns
Chipotle has experienced its fair share of food-borne illness crises over the past year, and it seems primed to add another: the company has closed a Massachusetts location after four of the store’s employees got sick.
The Billerica location, located a short distance outside of Boston, closed Tuesday and Wednesday for a full cleaning, and were set to repoen last Thursday, said Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold.
Whether or not the ill Billerica employees had norovirus is still unknown, and there are no reports of customers falling ill to date, Arnold said. The employees didn’t work at the store while they were sick according to the company. This does not, however, preclude the possibility that restaurant patrons may have contracted norovirus or whatever illness the employees had. Those who dined at the location in question should be aware of the symptoms of norovirus and other common foodborne illnesses, and see their doctor if they begin to experience such symptoms.
“Any employees who reported feeling ill will be tested and held out of the restaurant until they fully recover,” the Chipotle spokesman said.
The Massachusetts health department confirmed that the restaurant was closed voluntarily, and that there were no known ill customers. Arnold said inspectors found that the location was “nice, clean, and in great shape.”
A Rough Year For Chipotle
“During the week of December 7, 2015, we experienced an incident involving norovirus in Brighton, Massachusetts, which worsened the adverse financial and operating impacts we experienced from an E. coli incident associated with a number of Chipotle restaurants in October and November,” said Chipotle in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in January 2016.
Add that to the July outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Seattle that sickened 5; the August Simi Valley outbreak of norovirus that sickened at least 234, and the outbreak linked to 64 cases of Salmonella Newport in Minnesota during August and September, and it likely didn’t surprise to the company that restaurant sales were trending down in late December and early January.
These recent events are unlikely to boost the image of the embattled burrito establishment.
For information about the Chipotle Outbreaks or any other food poisoning questions, call the lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates 1-888-335-4901.