July 27, 2017 — A sick employee at a Chipotle in Sterling, Virginia has been blamed on an outbreak of Norovirus food poisoning that infected at least 135 people earlier this month.
The Loudoun County Health Department confirmed that more than 135 people fell ill after eating at the Chipotle Mexican Grill located at 21031 Tripleseven Road in Sterling, Virginia between July 13 and July 16, 2017.
No new illnesses have been reported since the store was sanitized and re-opened on July 19, 2017.
According to Dr. David Goodfriend of the Health Department:
“Two ill patrons have tested positive for the same strain of norovirus. Based on symptoms reported and these preliminary laboratory results, the cause of the outbreak is believed to be norovirus.”
Chipotle CEO Steve Ells blamed the outbreak on a breakdown in the company’s sick policy. “We believe someone was working while sick,” he said. In response, Chipotle employees will undergo “relentless training” to make sure everyone knows they can’t work if they are sick.
Last year, Chipotle said it paid lawsuit settlements to over 100 people who fell ill in at least 3 major food poisoning outbreaks in 2015.
The outbreak in Virginia is a reminder of August 2015, when another Norovirus outbreak at a Chipotle in Simi Valley, California infected 80 customers and 18 employees. In 2015, over 200 Chipotle patrons got sick in outbreaks of E. coli and Salmonella.
Norovirus is a highly-contagious virus that spreads through the fecal-oral route of transmission. Outbreaks can occur when restaurant employees who have diarrhea do not wash their hands after using the bathroom and then prepare food without wearing gloves. Symptoms appear within 12-48 hours and include vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.
Do I have a Chipotle Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Chipotle induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was sickened with Norovirus, E. Coli, or Salmonella, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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