700 People Sick After Eating Chipotle From One Store

More than 700 people have fallen ill after eating at an Ohio Chipotle.

According to the Dayton Daily News, a single Chipotle location in Powell, Ohio is believed to be responsible for more than 700 reports of a possible foodborne illness outbreak that began on July 26. However, the exact cause of the outbreak remains unclear.

“ATTENTION: We are currently investigating several possible food-borne illness reports stemming from Chipotle on Sawmill Road,” the Delaware Health Department tweeted on July 31, advising those who had eaten food from the Chipotle location to contact a member of the Communicable Disease Team.

By Aug. 2, the Delaware Health District had received 683 reports of possible foodborne illness related to the Powell, Ohio Chipotle location, a number that rose to 703 by Aug. 3. As a result of the outbreak, the restaurant closed its doors after the first reports were made, reopening several days later on Tuesday, July 31. No reports of further illness have been made since the restaurant reopened.

The cause of the outbreak remains unknown, with the Health Department reporting that preliminary test results for Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, and Norovirus have come back negative. The results of several more laboratory tests are still pending.

A previous health inspection found that the restaurant did not store the black beans and pinto beans at a high enough temperature and the lettuce was not properly refrigerated. However, both violations, which were deemed to be critical, were corrected that same day.

As a result of the outbreak, the restaurant is now facing two lawsuits, including one lawsuit from Clayton Jones, who is still seeking medical treatment after consuming food from the restaurant.

“This is the first of many lawsuits we will be filing on behalf of local residents who were sickened by contaminated Chipotle food,” Jones’ attorney, Ron Simon, said. “We have handled hundreds of claims against Chipotle as this is Chipotle’s seventh food poisoning outbreak in the last 3 years. These lawsuits will force Chipotle to change its ways and make its food safer for everyone not just in Powell, Ohio, but across the United States.”

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Clayton is reportedly seeking $25,000 in damages. It is expected that more lawsuits will be filed in the coming days and weeks.

The outbreak, the largest that Chipotle has faced, marks the latest health crisis for the popular restaurant chain. In February of 2016, Chipotle was forced to close its restaurants for several hours after outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus were reported at locations across the country.