More than 80 college students ill after eating at Chipotle

Illnesses in Boston are under investigation and may make Massachusetts the 10th state to be affected by an E. coli outbreak  

Massoud Hayoun
New York
Tuesday 08 December 2015 23:01 GMT
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle Mexican Grill (Joe Raedle/Getty)

More than 80 Boston college students reported gastrointestinal complications after eating at popular Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle.

US health authorities are still investigating whether E. coli was the culprit, but if confirmed, the illnesses reported Tuesday would make Massachusetts the 10th state to be affected by an E. coli outbreak that began in a cluster of western states last month.

“Several students have come to [Boston College] Health Services complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms; the common factor among them is that they have all eaten at the [nearby] Chipotle restaurant,” the university said on its website.

Chipotle told The Independent it believes the Boston illnesses are unrelated to the E. coli cases and are an instance of norovirus, a form of viral gastroenteritis.

“The safety and well being of our customers is always our highest priority, so our restaurant at Cleveland Circle in Boston is temporarily closed while we work with local health officials to investigate a number of illnesses among Boston College students,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email. “We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related the previous E. coli incident.”

“There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.”

In the past month since the outbreak began, Chipotle stock has steadily declined on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s same-store sales declined by 16 per cent in November, Forbes reported.

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