Chipotle has had a rough time with food outbreaks in recent months. Earlier this month, health officials in Boston closed down a location after an outbreak of norovirus caused at least 140 cases of gastrointestinal illness. In September 2015, health officials in Minnesota identified tomatoes as the cause of an outbreak of Salmonella linked to the chain.
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The CDC is investigating five new cases of a rare strain of E. coli linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
Three of the ill individuals ate at a location in Oklahoma and two ate at a Kansas location. Their symptoms began between November 18 and November 26 and all the individuals had consumed food from Chipotle within a week of becoming ill.
These five cases have a different DNA fingerprint than the rare strain of E. coli identified in the outbreak linked to the same restaurant chain that has caused 53 cases or illness in nine states since October. The CDC reported the latest of these cases on Monday, an individual from Pennsylvania who became ill in early November. Forty-six of 53 people sickened during an earlier E. Coli outbreak reported to have eaten at a Chipotle restaurant in the days before. Earlier this month the company was also rocked when at least 120 Boston College students and others got sick after eating at Chipotle though those incidents were likely connected to norovirus and not E. coli, according to the company. The strain is shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26, or STEC O26.
There have been multistate outbreaks of foodborne illness involving multiple DNA fingerprints in the past, but Chipotle is working with the CDC, FDA, and state health officials to investigate. No single food item has been identified as a source of illness.
The more well known strain of E. coli is O157, which is more likely to cause severe cases of illness.
Symptoms, which include diarrhea and abdominal pain, usually begin two to eight days after a person has been exposed to the bacteria and resolve within a week. Some cases are severe and patients can develop…