A Chipotle restaurant in Ohio has been the source of nearly 700 complaints of an illness outbreak.
Symptoms of Clostridium perfringens
People infected with C. perfringens develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours (typically 8 to 12 hours). The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours. People infected with C. perfringens usually do not have fever or vomiting. The illness is not passed from one person to another.
Chipotle Food Poisoning in Powell, Ohio
Hundreds of people have complained of vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and fever to the Delaware County General Health District after eating at the chain restaurant on 9733 Sawmill Parkway in Powell, north of Columbus.
Many more complaints began on a website that allows consumers to publish food poisoning incidents. Two other locations in the same vicinity received complaints as well.
The “big four” pathogens have been ruled out, said Tracy Whittaker, a public information officer for the DGHD. Stool samples from those sickened came back negative for salmonella, shigella, norovirus and E. coli, the common sources in such outbreaks.
Whittaker said “disease detectives” are still running additional tests on stool samples, as pathogens can continue to grow over time. Customers submitted their food leftovers too, and the results may be in as early as next week.
The DGHD said food samples are also being tested for bacteria such as Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens, which can cause gastrointestinal illness.
Staffers for the DGHD have interviewed almost all the people who contacted the department regarding food-borne illness.
A Chipotle spokesperson said in a statement the company acted quickly and closed the single restaurant after illness reports began flooding in.
“We worked with local health officials to reopen this restaurant the following day, Tuesday,” it said. “The health and safety of our customers and employees is our number one priority. We have been working with local officials to investigate and will continue to do so.”
However, on Thursday, inspectors found boxes of raw chicken leaning up against other packaged foods at two other Ohio store locations close by. A report said the proximity of the raw chicken to other foods presented a risk of contamination. Foods were also not found being stored at proper room temperatures.
Chipotle spokesperson, Laurie Schalow, said in an email to Business Insider, “Food safety is our number one priority and we are proud of the industry-leading practices and training we have in place across our system. These instances where two SEALED packaged products were next to each other in the walk-in refrigerator were immediately remedied.”
In 2015, Chipotle experienced multiple E. coli outbreaks as well as a norovirus outbreak that sickened more than 120 people. Since then, the company has made efforts to improve its food safety practices, closing all locations for a company-wide meeting on February of 2016.
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