Nation & World

More than 600 ill after eating at one Chipotle

Health officials haven't determined the cause

A closed Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 31, 2015. Three Ukrainian nationals have been arrested in the theft of more than 15 million credit and debit card numbers from point-of-sale terminals at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Arby’s and other retail and hospitality chains. (Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/TNS)
A closed Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 31, 2015. Three Ukrainian nationals have been arrested in the theft of more than 15 million credit and debit card numbers from point-of-sale terminals at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Arby’s and other retail and hospitality chains. (Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/TNS)

Ohio health officials say more than 600 people were sickened after eating at a Chipotle outlet outside Columbus over the last week of July.

The Delaware General Health District, named for the surrounding county, said that it had identified 624 people who ate at a Chipotle in Powell between July 26 and 30 and self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms.

At least two people, Filip Szyller and Clayton Jones, are suing the food chain after falling ill.

In his complaint, Jones said that he purchased a burrito bowl at the store on July 27 and became sick the next day. He was treated by a primary care physician, the complaint says.

Szyller purchased three tacos at Chipotle on July 29 and he, too, was sick by the next day, his complaint says.

Chipotle said it voluntarily closed the store last week for 24 hours after the period the illnesses were reported, replacing all its food and cleaning and sanitizing the restaurant.

“The health of our guests and employees is out top priority,” spokeswoman Laurie Schalow said in a statement.

She declined to comment on the lawsuits.

There have been no incidences of illness reported at the eatery since its reopening, the Health District said in a statement.

Szyller and Jones are seeking damages of at least $25,000 each.

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Chipotle has had some high-profile issues with food safety before. A federal inquiry examined the Denver-based chain’s food safety practices in 2015 after 207 people became ill with norovirus after eating at an outpost in California.

Outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus prompted it to close more than 2,000 locations for food safety training in February 2016.

A string of food-borne illnesses have also been reported across the United States in recent months. Salmonella illness outbreaks have been linked to raw turkey, pasta salad, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal and pre-cut melon.

A parasite was linked to McDonald’s salads. Romaine lettuce was determined to be contaminated with E. coli. Fresh crab meat from Venezuela was deemed a risk after Vibrio parahaemolyticus sickened a dozen people in three states and the District.

Certain types of Ritz crackers were recalled in July over concerns that those, too, may have been contaminated by Salmonella-tainted whey powder, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Later in the month, Pepperidge Farm recalled Goldfish crackers.

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