As of Tuesday, the Boston Public Health Department (BPHD) confirmed that 80 students from Boston College had fallen ill with norovirus after dining at a Chipotle restaurant near campus.
Many students at the school feared they were afflicted with E. coli. All 80 students have confirmed that they ate at the Chipotle Restaurant in Cleveland Circle (Boston) during the weekend.
“Every time you have a vomit event, you’re looking at billions of (virus) particles, and it takes only a few to make you sick”, said Chapman, who said it was too early to say whether the students got norovirus at Chipotle. “I have not heard anything about norovirus yet”.
“The latest update we have is that there are between 25 and 30 cases”, wrote Chipotle Spoksman Chris Arnold in an email.
Chipotle temporarily closed its Cleveland Circle restaurant Monday after Boston College said several students, including members of the men’s basketball team, developed gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at the Mexican chain. That month Norovirus was blamed for sickening almost 100 people at a Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, California and on October 31st, it was linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 52 people in nine states.
Infected workers cause about 70% of reported norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To prevent food-borne illness from striking in the future, Chipotle is enhancing its food safety measures, using DNA-based tests, end-of-shelf-life testing and additional internal training. He added increasing its food safety measures is probably going to be inefficient for now. It causes as many as 21 million illnesses annually, often in places such as hospitals, cruise ships and universities where people eat and live in close quarters.