One of the worst things that could occur to any restaurant, but especially the food poisoning-plagued Chipotle chain, has happened at a Sterling, Virginia, Chipotle store. In 2015, 141 Boston College students ― roughly 1 percent of the school's student body ― showed symptoms of norovirus after eating at a Chipotle restaurant.
In the official corporate statement from Denver-based Chipotle, the executive director for food safety said the company is "working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible".
The company says it shut down a location in Sterling, Virginia, on Monday after becoming aware of a "small number" of reported illnesses.
"In total, eight reports were made to the website, indicating that at least 13 customers fell sick after eating there from July 14-15", the news site said. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
Just when it seemed Chipotle had moved past its reputation as a breeding ground for foodborne illnesses, there are reports of another outbreak. Those who are still leery of Chipotle after it failed to live up to its "Food with Integrity" motto two years ago may be even harder to win back as customers now. We take every report of illness seriously.
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Last month, Chipotle said full-year same-store sales would increase in the "high single digits", suggesting that same-store sales are slowing from the first quarter.
Chipotle shares were off $23.43, or 5.7 percent, at $369.57, in midday trades.
Chipotle management used the pause to discuss changes to its food prep and handling procedures in an effort to avoid further food poisoning.
The norovirus virus is typically spread from one person to another, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.