Norovirus-linked Chipotle reopens in Boston; manager and employee fired

Following an all-clear (which means, you’re meeting the basic food code requirements) from health officials, the Chipotle location linked to over 140 norovirus illnesses is all set to open. Minus at least two employees – the manager and ill employee have, according to WCVB, both been fired.

Chipotle is expected to be cleared to reopen its Cleveland Circle location Wednesday after more than 100 customers got sick with norovirus earlier this month.chipotle21

Boston Inspectional Services said the restaurant has been disinfected and a second round of samples tested negative for norovirus. All employees also tested negative for the virus.

City inspectors were at the restaurant for a final rundown Wednesday.

One hundred and forty people, most of them Boston College students, got norovirus after eating at the restaurant.

Health officials said a sick employee was the source. The company said that employee and the manager on duty at the time have been fired.

There was some organizational/food safety culture issue at work in this outbreak. The chain offers paid sick leave to its employees – so why was there an ill food handler working?

That’s a values/not understanding risk issue and a management fail.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.