Chipotle Closes Over 40 Locations After E. Coli Sends People To Hospital

by Eitan Levine

*Slowly puts down burrito.*

Bad news for Northwest burrito bros: Chipotle closed 43 of its locations in Oregon and Washington after an E. coli outbreak was reportedly linked to the fast food chain.

Although no deaths have occurred thus far, there have been 22 cases of E. coli poisoning, eight of which led to people being hospitalized.

A news release from the Washington State Department of Health stated,

A cluster of E. coli cases led to the voluntary closure of many Chipotle restaurants this week. The restaurants under investigation are linked to 19 cases of E. coli illnesses in Washington. Three more cases were reported from Oregon, also associated with Chipotle restaurants. Seven of the Washington patients and one Oregon patient were hospitalized; there have been no deaths…. The elderly and very young children are more likely to become severely ill from this kind of E. coli infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most E. coli are actually harmless, but can cause urinary tract infections, diarrhea, pneumonia respiratory illness and a bunch of other awful things that are not worth getting, even if it's from the world's most stacked 'rrito.

According to Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold, only six of the restaurant's chains have been linked to the outbreak, but all 43 locations were closed, just to be safe.

He told PEOPLE,

After being notified by health department officials in the Seattle and Portland, Oregon, areas that they were investigating approximately 20 cases of E. coli, including people who ate at six of our restaurants in those areas, we immediately closed all of our restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems. We are working with health department officials to determine the cause of this issue. We offer our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by this situation.

Arnold also said there is no firm timeline as to when the restaurants will reopen (*cough* now's your chance, Qdoba! *cough*) because the determination for when it's back in business relies on how the E. coli investigation is going.


Citations: Chipotle Closes 43 Restaurants After E Coli Outbreak Hospitalizes Several Customers (People)