60 Chipotle customers sickened, 1 norovirus confirmed from Va. location

NEW YORK (AP) - A person who reported eating at a Chipotle in northern Virginia has tested positive for norovirus. But health officials say that's not yet enough to determine the cause of the roughly 60 reported illnesses it has identified.

The location in Sterling, Virginia, was temporarily closed for cleaning this week after customers reported symptoms that Chipotle said were consistent with norovirus. That sent shares of the restaurant chain down, underscoring how vulnerable its reputation remains almost two years after an E. coli outbreak that sent its sales plunging.

PREVIOUS: Chipotle customer ends up in ER, Va. location cleans up

Norovirus is a leading cause of illnesses from contaminated food, and infected employees are a frequent source of the outbreaks. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Overall, one out of six Americans get sick each year by consuming contaminated food or drinks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., says it is still awaiting further test results that should be available early next week. David Goodfriend, director of the health department, says that having another person test positive for norovirus would be a "very strong indication" that norovirus was behind the illnesses. The health department says it has identified about 60 sickened people who said they ate at the Chipotle in question.

PREVIOUS: Health inspection history for Sterling Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has stressed the safety measures it has taken to prevent such occurrences or respond quickly when they do happen. But its image is still fragile, and the chain was dealing with more bad publicity Thursday after mice fell from the ceiling in a Dallas location. Chipotle says it was an "extremely isolated incident," and that the mice got in the restaurant because of a structural gap in the building. It said the gap has been fixed.

Shares in Chipotle fell 3.7 percent to $359.05 in afternoon trading. They had been above $390 on Tuesday.

© 2017 Associated Press


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment