Must suck to be a Chipotle right now in the U.S.: About 100 customers and staff sick from Norovirus at a California oultlet, and now 45 sick with Salmonella linked to several Minnesota-area Chipotle’s.
Forty-five (45) cases of Salmonella Newport infection have been reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) since Wednesday, Sept. 2. Since many cases of salmonellosis do not seek health care and get tested, the number of ill people that are part of this outbreak is likely to be larger than the identified number of cases. Consequently, health officials want to bring this outbreak to the attention of people who have become ill with symptoms of salmonellosis but who have not yet consulted a health care provider. These people should mention this outbreak to their health care provider should they consult one.
The investigation to date has found that the 45 cases were all infected with Salmonella Newport bacteria that have matching or very similar DNA fingerprints. Of the 34 people who have been interviewed to date, 32 ate or likely ate at 17 different Chipotle restaurant locations. Most of the restaurant locations are in the Twin Cities metro area, with one in St. Cloud and one in Rochester. Their meal dates range from Aug. 16 to Aug. 26 and they became ill between Aug. 20 and Aug. 29.
The Minnesota cases range in age from 15 to 67 years and are from eight metro and greater Minnesota counties; 56 percent are male. Five cases have been hospitalized; all are recovering.
Investigators from MDH and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are working on identifying a specific food item source of the outbreak; in the meantime, Chipotle has changed the source of the suspect produce item under investigation. Between Aug. 16 and Aug. 26, Chipotle served more than 560,000 customers in Minnesota and has taken every appropriate measure to ensure that it is safe to eat in its restaurants. Investigators are confident that ongoing transmission at Chipotle as part of this outbreak has ended.