E. Coli Scare Forces Chipotle to Close 43 Locations

Chipotle has temporarily closed 43 of its restaurants in Washington and Oregon out of an abundance of caution after an E. coli scare, and one of the people sickened in the outbreak has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant chain reported CNN.

No one has died in the reported cases of infection, the Washington State Department of Health stated. Health officials have identified the specific microorganisms responsible for the outbreak, Shiga toxin producing E.coli 026.They are interviewing everyone in both states who has tested positive for that strain of E.coli and are also testing food products from Chipotle restaurants to look for the same bacteria, reported NBC News.

According to The Bulletin three of the twelve people infected have been hospitalized, but no one has died, according to Dr. Katrina, Hedberg state health officer with OHA’s Public Health Division.

Some of the symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.This may last for one to ten days.Most people recover within about a week, but in rare cases a person can develop kidney failure according to The Bulletin.

E.coli can get into meat while processing if the infected meat is not cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees C), explains  WEB MD. The bacteria can survive and can infect individuals  when they eat the meat. E. coli can also lead to anemia which can lead to death.The bacteria can spread from person to another, usually when an infected person does not wash their hands, added the sourcee.

“Anyone who thinks they may become ill from eating at a Chipotle restaurant in the past three weeks should consult their health care provider,” Washington State Epidemiologist, Dr. Scott Lindquist stated. “The elderly and very young children are more likely to become severely ill from this kind of E. coli infection.”