Chipotle E. coli outbreak reported in Turlock, California

Pedestrians walk past a still-closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Seattle. Health officials in Washington and Oregon have said that more than three dozen people have gotten sick with E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area while authorities search for the cause. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

UPDATE: 1:35PM

KRON4 has confirmed the two people with E. Coli in California are from Turlock in the Central Valley.

FROM CHIPOTLE’S WEBSITE:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced the number of cases connected to Chipotle from 50 to 37 cases on November 18 (with 24 in Washington and 13 in Oregon). This reduction of nearly 25% was based upon more sensitive testing which revealed the cases were not related to Chipotle. The CDC has informed Chipotle that it identified six additional cases in which initial testing matches the E. coli strain involved in the Washington and Oregon incident. Although one of the individuals has no known link to Chipotle, five individuals did report eating at Chipotle, including two in Turlock, Calif., one in Akron, Ohio, one in Amherst, NY, and one in Burnsville, Minn.


 

NEW YORK (AP) — An outbreak of E. coli linked to Chipotle has expanded to six states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says new cases have been reported in California, New York and Ohio. Cases were reported in Minnesota earlier, while the majority of illnesses have been in Oregon and Washington.

Workers clean inside a still-closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Seattle. Health officials in Washington and Oregon have said that more than three dozen people have gotten sick with E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area while authorities search for the cause. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Workers clean inside a still-closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Seattle. Health officials in Washington and Oregon have said that more than three dozen people have gotten sick with E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area while authorities search for the cause. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The agency says the investigation is ongoing to determine the specific food that is linked to the illness.

So far, the CDC says 45 people have been infected in relation and that 16 of them have been hospitalized. There have been no deaths.

Late in October, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington after health officials discovered most of the people sickened in an E. coli outbreak had eaten at the chain’s restaurants. The restaurants have since reopened.

FROM THE CDC:

Multistate Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 Infections Linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants

  • Posted November 20, 2015 2:15 PM ET

What’s New?

  • 3 additional states have reported people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) since the last update.
  • 45 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 have now been reported from a total of 6 states: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26).
  • The epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that a common meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states is a likely source of this outbreak.
  • The investigation is still ongoing to determine what specific food is linked to illness.
  • CDC will advise the public if specific steps are identified that consumers can take to protect themselves.

 

November 20, 2015

Case Count Update

CDC is only reporting ill people that have been confirmed by PulseNet(http://www.cdc.gov/pulsenet/) as being infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26). Forty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 have been reported from 6 states. The majority of illnesses have been reported from Washington and Oregon. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26).

Among people for whom information is available, illnesses started on dates ranging from October 19, 2015 to November 8, 2015. Ill people range in age from 2 years to 94, with a median age of 22. Fifty-eight percent of ill people are female. Sixteen (36%) people reported being hospitalized. There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome and no deaths.

This outbreak can be illustrated with a chart showing the number of people who became ill each day. This chart is called an epidemic curve or epi curve. Illnesses that occurred after October 31, 2015 might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of E. coli Infection(http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/reporting-timeline.html) for more details.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview them.

Investigation Update

CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and public health officials in several states are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) infections.

The epidemiologic evidence available to investigators at this time suggests that a meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants at several states is a likely source of this outbreak. The investigation has not identified what specific food is linked to illness. Chipotle Mexican Grill is assisting public health officials with understanding the distribution of food items served at locations where ill people ate and this work is ongoing.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before their illness started. Forty-three (96%) of 45 people interviewed reported eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant. The investigation is ongoing to identify common meal items or ingredients causing illness.

Investigators are also using whole genome sequencing, an advanced laboratory technique(http://www.cdc.gov/amd/), to get more information about the DNA fingerprint of the STEC O26 bacteria causing illness. To date, whole genome sequencing has been performed on STEC O26 isolates from 9 ill people in Washington and 1 ill person in Minnesota. All 10 isolates were highly related genetically to one another. This provides additional evidence that illnesses outside the Pacific Northwest are related to the illnesses in Oregon and Washington.

Updates will be provided when more information is available.

 

FROM THE FDA:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections.
Update: November 20, 2015

  • 4 additional states have reported people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) since the last update.
  • 45 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 have now been reported from a total of six states: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26).
  • The epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that a common meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states is a likely source of this outbreak.
  • The investigation is still ongoing to determine what specific food is linked to illness.

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O26 infections that have been linked to food served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states.

As of November 19, 2015, the CDC reports a total of 45 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 from a total of six states: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26). There have been 16 reported hospitalizations. There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and no deaths.

 

Investigators are also using whole genome sequencing, an advanced laboratory technique, to get more information about the DNA fingerprint of the STEC O26 bacteria causing illness. To date, whole genome sequencing has been performed on STEC O26 isolates from 9 ill people in Washington and 1 ill person in Minnesota. All 10 isolates were highly related genetically to one another. This provides additional evidence that illnesses outside the Pacific Northwest, could be related to the illnesses in Washington .

 

Chipotle Mexican Grill has reopened all of its restaurants in Washington and Oregon that had been closed in response to the investigation. Chipotle Mexican Grill worked in close consultation and collaboration with health officials throughout the investigation to determine whether it was appropriate to reopen these restaurants. Chipotle reports taking the following actions, among others, prior to opening:

  • Confirming that all microbial testing performed by the company did not yield coli (more than 2,500 tests of Chipotle’s food, restaurant surfaces, and equipment all showed no E. coli)
  • Confirming that no employees in these restaurants were sickened from this incident
  • Expanded testing of fresh produce, raw meat, and dairy items prior to restocking restaurants
  • Implementing additional safety procedures, and audits, in all of its 2,000 restaurants to ensure that robust food safety standards are in place
  • Working closely with federal, state, and local government agencies to ensure that robust food safety standards are in place
  • Replacing all ingredients in the closed restaurants
  • Conducted additional deep cleaning and sanitization in all of its closed restaurants (will conduct deep cleaning and sanitization additionally in all restaurants nationwide)

The FDA continues to work with Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants as well as federal, state and local agencies in conducting laboratory analysis of foods sampled from the restaurants and gathering information about the supply chain(s). The FDA will continue to provide updates on the investigation as they become available.

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What are the Signs & Symptoms of E. coli O26?

  • People usually get sick from STEC (Shiga toxin-producing coli) 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the organism (germ).
    • Most people infected with STEC develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps.
    • Most people recover within a week.
  • Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
    • HUS can occur in people of any age, but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
    • Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.
    • People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • STEC infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample for Shiga toxins.
    • Clinical laboratories are required in some states to send Shiga toxin-positive specimens from ill people to the state public health laboratory for identification of STEC and PulseNet testing.

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Who is at Risk?

People of any age can become infected. Very young children and the elderly are more likely than others to develop severe illness and HUS, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill. In this particular outbreak, the age range of ill patients is 1 – 67 years.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers who have recently become ill after eating at a Chipotle should contact their health care provider.

Who Should be Contacted?

Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult the FDA website.

 

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