A Chipotle restaurant in Powell, Ohio, is facing a second lawsuit after 703 people reportedly fell ill after eating at the burrito chain. According to news reports, the location has shut down after facing complaints from sick customers since July 26 when the outbreak began. County health officials have been investigating the claims testing customers for a number of illnesses such as E. coli, salmonella, norovirus and shigella, all of which have come back negative. The cause of the outbreak is currently not known.
Major Food Poisoning Outbreak
Officials are still continuing to test food from the restaurant chain. The Chipotle franchise has said it is cooperating with the health department with regard to the investigation. The Dayton Daily News reports that at least two lawsuits have been filed against the restaurant. One of the plaintiffs, Clayton Jones, is seeking $25,000 in damages as he continues to get medical treatment after consuming food from the restaurant.
This is reportedly Chipotle’s seventh food poisoning outbreak in the last three years. Chipotle is not the only restaurant to have food poisoning issues this summer. McDonald’s, which also owns Chipotle, recently recalled salads at about 3,000 U.S. restaurants due to an outbreak of cyclosporiasis tied to lettuce tainted by cyclospora parasites, which are transmitted in fecal matter.
Steps Consumers Can Take
Restaurants and retail establishments have a duty to ensure that the food they serve consumers are clean and safe for consumption. Restaurants, for example, are subject to several health and food safety violations including keeping food covered, maintaining clean workspaces, and storing them at right temperatures. However, not all restaurants are diligent about sticking to these standards and our health agencies often fall behind when it comes to restaurant inspections.
If you have been sickened after eating at a restaurant, it would be in your best interest to get a prompt medical diagnosis and treatment. Save the receipt from the restaurant and if you have any of the suspect food leftover, isolate and preserve it so it can be examined in a lab for the presence of pathogens. Report your illness to the local health agency, which keeps track of these food-borne illnesses and outbreaks.
Contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who will be able to help you seek and obtain compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, and pain and suffering.