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E. Coli Outbreak Tests Chipotle’s Vow to Track Ingredients

Chipotle’s industry-leading joining to tracking a mixture from plantation to list is being put to a exam by an E. coli conflict that has disgusted during slightest 37 people as of Tuesday, scarcely all of whom ate recently during one of a chain’s restaurants in Washington state or Oregon.

Scientists also pronounced Tuesday that they identified a specific bacterium responsible, that they trust was carried on uninformed furnish such as lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro or onions, or presumably even spices.

The sequence of infrequent Mexican restaurants willingly sealed 43 locations in a dual states after health officials alerted a association to a flourishing series of E. coli cases involving people who common one common experience: a dish during Chipotle during a final dual weeks.

The numbers grew Tuesday from 3 to 12 illusive cases in Portland area and from 19 to 25 illusive cases in 5 counties nearby Seattle.

Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington’s state epidemiologist, pronounced a specific bacterium obliged for a conflict is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26.

Now officials are doing some-more tests, on samples of tellurian rubbish and on any E. coli found in food samples, looking for accurate DNA matches. That, in turn, should prove that part carried it into a dishes of diners, Lindquist said.

Food from a restaurants related to a conflict is being tested, and Lindquist pronounced they might know by Wednesday that produce, if any, tests certain for a same bacteria.

Authorities have already asked Chipotle to spin over information about a food suppliers.

“We’re unequivocally relying on operative closely with Chipotle,” pronounced Dr. Katrina Hedberg, Oregon’s state epidemiologist.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Chairman Steve Ells pronounced in a matter Tuesday that a association immediately sealed a restaurants “out of an contentment of caution, even yet usually 8 restaurants have drawn concern.”

The association also says it is doing a possess tests in restaurants and placement centers. It is entirely sanitizing a restaurants, replacing all a food and contrast batches of mixture in a supply sequence as it helps investigators, a matter said.

Multi-state outbreaks have increasing neatly in new years, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. On average, dual dozen occurred from 2010 to 2014, adult from 6 a year from 1973 to 2010. That’s partly due to improved detection, though food attention converging has meant companies boat to wider networks of grocery stores and restaurants now, so sinister products can widespread some-more widely as well.

In this case, identifying a retailer of any infested furnish should be easier since Chipotle uses traceability software, done by a Durham, North Carolina-based FoodLogiQ company, and has betrothed a consumers that it can snippet each box of uninformed mixture from plantation to table, in genuine time.

“Ideally, any of these trace-back systems should help,” pronounced Jaydee Hanson, a comparison process researcher during a Center for Food Safety, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes food reserve and tolerable agriculture.

Health officials trust meaningful a placement of food along Chipotle’s supply sequence will give them useful information, pronounced Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County Public Health.

“We’re unequivocally anticipating that a trace-back will give us some good clues about what a means could be,” Duchin said.

He acknowledged, however, that this will be a formidable review since so many of a same mixture go into mixed dishes during Chipotle.

In 2008, health officials primarily suspected tender tomatoes to be a source of a salmonella conflict that disgusted people around a country, Hanson said. Without adequate ways of tracing tomatoes or other infested furnish to their origins, everybody stopped shopping tomatoes, everywhere.

In this case, Chipotle has been means to have a most some-more targeted response.

“Being means to fast find where a problem is, is because the classification and others have been arguing for good traceability, from plantation to fork,” Hanson said. “Chipotle is to be commended for perplexing to put in place a complement to snippet a supply, and hopefully it works this time.”


AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe in New York and reporters Gene Johnson in Seattle and Jonathan J. Cooper in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this story.

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/coli-outbreak-tests-chipotles-vow-track-ingredients-34947070

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