Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Chipotle Restaurants

Jennifer Deutschmann - Author

Sep. 10 2015, Updated 9:41 p.m. ET

A recent Salmonella outbreak was linked to Chipotle restaurants throughout Minnesota. State health officials confirmed at least 45 people were diagnosed with Salmonellosis in the last week alone. A majority of those interviewed reported eating Chipotle within days of experiencing the first symptoms.

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by Salmonella bacteria, which is commonly found in the intestinal tracts of reptiles and birds. As reported by the Minnesota Department of Health, Salmonella is “usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces.”

Symptoms generally appear with 72 hours of consumption, and usually include abdominal pain, cramping, fever, and diarrhea.

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Although Salmonellosis is rarely life-threatening, infants, the elderly, and patients with compromised immune systems may experience serious complications or even death.

Minnesota’s Salmonella outbreak was linked to 17 Chipotle restaurants. The locations include 7 Corners, Bloomington, Calhoun, Crystal, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Richfield, Ridgedale, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Lawson, Uptown, and the Minneapolis US Bank Plaza.

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The Minnesota Department of Health said a majority of the outbreak patients dined at Chipotle Mexican Grill locations between August 16 and August 26. Although five patients were hospitalized, they are all recovering from the illness.

On Tuesday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a widespread Salmonella outbreak linked to imported cucumbers.

As discussed on the CDC website, officials confirmed a total of 341 people were infected with Salmonella Poona as of September 4. The outbreak was tracked to “Limited Edition” brand “slicer” and “American” cucumbers, which are distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce.

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Health officials confirmed the tainted cucumbers were sold in 30 states, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

Anyone who suspects they may have been infected with Salmonellosis after consuming Chipotle or “Limited Edition” cucumbers are encouraged to seek medical attention.

Each year, an estimated 1 million people are infected with Salmonella bacteria. Unfortunately, the number of cases may be much higher, as Salmonellosis often goes unreported. According to the CDC, many patients mistake the infection for a stomach virus.

In response to the Salmonella outbreak, Chipotle is cooperating with health officials to identify and control the source.

[Photo via Flickr]


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