Chipotle Mexican Grill Not Closing Due To Salmonella Outbreak, Despite Hoax Claims

Could Chipotle Mexican Grill be closing after the recent Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota? According to reports across social media, all locations are set to be closed by March 2016.

Thankfully for the hugely popular restaurant chain and its regular customers, those reports are false. Snopes, a site notorious for researching unusual news for accuracy, has discovered the source to be nothing more than a well-planned prank. What looked like an official article with the title “Chipotle Announced All Stores Will Be Closed by March 2016” was a redirected link to a meme on FeedNewz telling readers they had been “trolled.”

However, there is some bad news for some customers in Minnesota. It was recently reported to be a potential health hazard to eat at the Mexican-style restaurant. Salmonella, an infection usually associated with poorly prepared chicken, has affected 45 people as of September 10. It is unknown if the food on the Chipotle Mexican Grill menu was directly responsible, but the numbers involved with the infection appear to center around the diners involved.

According to the Star Tribune, health officials are investigating the infection affecting people ranging in age from 15 to 67-years-old. Five people have been hospitalized, and all of them are recovering. Thirty-five people infected have been interviewed and said that they have at least likely eaten at one of 17 Chipotle locations in Minnesota, with most of them being in the Twin Cities.

USA Today states that those affected all ate within the period of August 16 to August 26, and the infections had occurred between August 20 and August 29. If Chipotle Mexican Grill’s food in Minnesota was responsible for the Salmonella outbreak, the variety of locations involved would point to a common source not preparing their food correctly.

This is almost ironic considering how Chipotle founder Steve Ells had visited a chicken farm used by McDonald’s earlier this year and remarked on how “disgusting” it was. In this previous report by the Inquisitr, Chipotle had been partners with McDonald’s starting in 1998, and the fast food chain had helped it grow from only 14 locations to the popular nationwide chain it is today.

With Chipotle’s founder saying that they hand prepare their food every day, it seems strange that so many locations of the same food chain suddenly erupted with complaints of Salmonella. It could also be faulty trucks delivering the product from Chipotle’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

Even though Chipotle Mexican Grill isn’t closing, the rise of Salmonella outbreaks is still something they will need to find the source of.

[Image via Joe Raedle / Getty Images]