Chipotle may have another food-borne illness problem. The Los Angeles Health Department's Acute Communicable Disease Control unit has confirmed to Business Insider the agency is "aware of reports of illness [at an LA Chipotle] and is investigating."
The restaurant in question is located at 4550 W. Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles. Chipotle confirmed it is aware of the reports but has not heard directly from afflicted customers. "As a precautionary measure, we have implemented heightened sanitization measures at this restaurant," said Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold, "which we do as a matter of policy if ever we receive reports of illness (even if they are not substantiated)."
The reports were made at IWasPoisoned.com, where eight reports since December 14 detail vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea to at least 12 people. "We take any report of illness very seriously," Arnold said. "We are aware of three reports (two of which appear to be the same) on a user-generated reporting site, but there is no clinical validation associated with those reports."
The Associated Press reports employees "were ill with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea" as well. The company "reported the illnesses to local health officials." Those employees are being held out of work.
IWasPoisoned.com is the same site where reports about a Chipotle in Sterling, Virginia began in July. The location was temporarily closed, and Loudoun County health officials later cited the restaurant as the source of 135 reported norovirus illnesses.
That's different than e.coli, which was the cause of the massive Chipotle-based outbreak two years ago, sickening more than 50 people in 14 states.
"My whole family and I ate at Chipotle two days before we started experiencing stomach pains and nausea," one of the new reports reads. "It was constant vomiting every two hours and weakness. We all had burrito bowls with meat, beans, rice, and guac. The symptoms lasted for two days now. We're starting to feel better, but it was a very uncomfortable experience and we won't be going to Chipotle anymore after this." Another person claims they and their coworker got sick after they both ate the LA Chipotle.
If the claims are substantiated, it'd be another blow to Chipotle, whose stock fell Wednesday as the reports began to surface.
h/t Business Insider