Eighty Bostonian students sick with norovirus after eating at Chipotle

Initial tests on some 80 students in Boston who fell ill after eating at Chipotle have shown the presence of norovirus, city health officials have said.

BOSTON (AP) – Boston College says the number of students reporting gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at a Chipotle has climbed to 80.

Evidence suggests a common menu item or ingredient from Chipotle restaurants, but investigators have not determined what it is. The restaurant in the Brighton neighborhood was not linked to the nationwide E. coli outbreak in nine states that has sickened at least 52 people since October.

About 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness each year, according to the CDC.

Moreover, 8 players on the Boston College Basketball team confirmed to have E.coli just moments after Boston College’s university medical staff sent out a campus-wide email notifying students and faculty that there were numerous people on campus that had become sick from the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle.

The Tulsa Health Department said they are in close contact with the Oklahoma State Health Department monitoring cases.

During an inspection on Monday, health officials did come across some violations at Boston’s Cleveland Circle Chipotle location-meat stored at unsafe temperatures, and and a sick staff member had come into work.

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes symptoms like stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Chipotle said sales have been “extremely volatile” since early November when it closed restaurants in OR and Washington after the first cases were reported in those states.

“The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been notified, and is working to determine if there is a link to the ongoing national outbreak of E. coli”, he said.

Executives said the chain may eventually raise prices to make up for its food safety investments.

Aside from the E. coli troubles, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has been experiencing a slowdown in its sales. Environmental health folks shut the restaurant following an investigation revealed an employee worked while ill.

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