Boston health officials have put the outbreak tally of norovirus linked to a Cleveland Circle Chipotle Mexican Grill at 136 as of Friday afternoon. This include 129 Boston College students.


The outbreak in Boston, in addition to the multi-state E. coli outbreak, prompted Chipotle founder and CEO, Steve Ells to to make an apology during a nationally televised interview Thursday–“I have to say I’m sorry for the people that got sick, Ells said. They’re having a tough time. I feel terrible about that, and we’re doing a lot to rectify this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

In addition, the Denver headquartered restaurant chain partnered with Seattle-based IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, a preeminent food safety testing and consulting company in an effort  to make the food served at Chipotle as safe as possible.

IEH, which is led by Dr. Mansour Samadpour, is working directly with Chipotle’s Supply Chain and Operations departments to implement a set of industry-leading practices, including changing some existing protocols.

Areas to be worked on include safety testing of ingredients, ingredient handling and preparation, employee training and more frequent audits.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is spread by contaminated food, improper hygiene, and contact with contaminated surfaces. Norovirus can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Incubation can occur between two and eight days. Nausea and vomiting typically last 24-48 hours, while diarrhea may last longer.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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