Food-Borne Illnesses Allegedly Linked to Chipotle in Several States

Investigation continues into the sources of the outbreaks.

News headlines through autumn 2015 have repeatedly reported that pockets of patrons of Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants across the country have allegedly been sickened after having eaten there. Commentators have noted that the chain's signature devotion to fresh ingredients and local food sourcing may actually contribute to quality control issues because of the dual challenges of keeping fresh food safe and monitoring so many different suppliers.

By way of illustration, Bloomberg Business cites food-safety expert David Acheson as saying that he has concerns about the ability of smaller food sources like independent farmers to keep current on best practices to keep their food products safe. Bloomberg also describes the opinion of North Carolina State University professor and food-safety expert Benjamin Chapman that it is uncommon for different food safety problems to be linked to the same food chain over a few months.

Indeed, in several states across the country, Chipotle restaurants have allegedly been potentially linked to dangerous outbreaks of salmonella, norovirus and E. coli.

The restaurant has publicly apologized and announced several new procedures it has adopted to make its food safer, including those concerning sanitation, food monitoring and staff training, as outlined on its website. It also pledges to continue to work with state and federal food-safety officials on the problem, including those in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, known as the FDA.

In an online update on the E. coli investigation, the FDA on December 4, 2015, said that the scientific evidence so far suggests that a "common meal item or ingredient" served by Chipotle is the likely reason for the food poisonings. The agency also noted that while 20 people have had to be hospitalized, no deaths or reports of severe kidney injury have been reported.

While the Chipotle situation continues to unfold, people continue to be harmed by unsafe food and other dangerous or defective consumer products. Producers, distributors and sellers of consumer products have the legal duty to provide safe goods that will not harm the people who purchase and use them. When a supplier or seller provides an unsafe product that harms a consumer, the victim should seek legal counsel to understand his or her rights to pursue recovery for the resulting costs associated with the injury and its treatment, including potentially medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, such as by way of a product liability lawsuit.

With offices in Los Angeles and Novato in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in Utah and Oregon, the personal injury attorneys of Brayton Purcell, L.L.P., advocate for clients across the nation harmed by dangerous consumer products like adulterated food.