Another E. coli outbreak to report… The Chipotle restaurants in Oregon and Washington along the pacific coast closed temporarily in October because multiple people became ill from eating food contaminated with E.coli, a super bug bacteria found in animal intestines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “as many as 42 people 27 in Washington and 15 in Oregon became ill with E. Coli, and fourteen of them had to be hospitalized from the illness” (Goldschmidt). The Washington and Oregon health departments have been testing the forty three establishments to pin point the source of the outbreak of E.coli. Both health departments have tested 900 samples of food and all surfaces that food is cooked or prepared on, so far there has been no positive cultures from those samples. “State and local health officials continue to work with federal health officials to investigate this outbreak”, according to CNN news.
The Chipotle restaurants decided to close all forty three stores in Oregon and Washington, the company said they closed them as a precaution until all the stores are tested and cleared by the Oregon and Washington health departments. Steve Ells, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement, “The safety of our customers and integrity of our food supply has always been our highest priority. If there are any opportunities for us to do better in any facet of our sourcing or food handling — from the farms to our restaurants — we will find them. We are sorry to those affected by this situation, and it is our greatest priority to ensure that we go above and beyond to make certain that we find any opportunity to do better in any area of food safety” (Goldschmidt). Thankfully there have not been any deaths reported from this particular outbreak, and Chipotle is sure that the only stores that received the contaminated food were in the Oregon and Washington areas. No other states have reported any people becoming ill from eating at Chipotle, which is good news for all of us in Colorado.
CNN news online reported that, “the symptoms of E. coli are diarrhea and abdominal pain, usually began two to eight days after a person has been exposed to the bacteria, and resolves within a week. Some cases are severe and patients can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which is a type of kidney failure. There have been no cases of HUS or deaths from this outbreak” (Goldschmidt). A similar situation has occurred almost every year since the early 1990’s, and some of the cases have been very severe and even caused deaths. The outbreak that I remember from the 90’s is the Jack in the Box restaurants serving hamburgers that were not cooked all the way through. There were multiple deaths reported, because most of the people infected were children under ten years old. Something to always remember is, if you or someone you know becomes ill and has bloody diarrhea, go to the hospital as soon as you realize the illness. If E.coli is left untreated, you will die. Stay aware everyone, and be safe out there!
Goldschmidt, Debra. Chipotle locations prepare to reopen, officials continue E. coli outbreak probe- CNN. 10 11 2015. Web. 10 11 2015.
Montreal, Universite de. Pathogenic E. coli . 2004. Web. 10 11 2015.
Release, Skagit County Press. Skagit County Health Department closes Burlington restaurant pending E. coli investigation. 30 10 2015. Web. 10 11 2015.