Health officials reported new cases of E. coli infections linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant have now reached six states throughout the United States. The CDC also reported two cases in California, two in Minnesota, two in NY, one in OH, and 13 in Oregon. There have been no deaths.
Investigators concluded that an unknown ingredient served by the restaurant is likely responsible for the outbreak - even though no presence of the bacteria has yet been found at any Chipotle location.
Investigators have yet to determine the specific ingredient linked to the illness.
Only a few weeks have passed since the chain shuttered 43 of its restaurants due to an E. Coli outbreak, but believe it or not, it just got worse for the popular Mexican grill.
There have been no other cases associated with this outbreak in Erie County or NY State. The illnesses started on dates ranging from October 19 to November 8 and 16 people have been hospitalized.
No definitive source was identified in the outbreak in the Northwest, saidChipotle spokesman Chris Arnold in an email.
Several civil lawsuits have already been filed by victims in Washington, OR and Minnesota in relation to the E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks this fall.
On Friday, the CDC said three more states had been added to the list, extending the total number of states affected to six.
The chain said they are examining their entire process from farm to restaurant and expanding testing of key ingredients and examining all of their food safety procedures for any areas where improvements can be made.
Three additional states - now, including OH - have reported people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) since the last update.
"There has to be a common supplier with a common food item", Marler said.
"Chipotle has been very cooperative with the investigation and has been very forthcoming in allowing the local health departments to conduct restaurant inspection", Burstein said.
Steve Ells, center, CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, eats at a Chipotle location in NY in 2008. "We will leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of our food".