Chipotle Location Closed After Suspected Foodborne Illness Outbreak

Customers at a Chipotle in Ohio might be at risk for developing a gastrointestinal illness. The investigation into the possible illnesses was announced Tuesday in a tweet from the Delaware General Health District in Ohio.

The district was asking anyone who ate at the Chipotle on Sawmill Parkway in Powell, Ohio, between Thursday and Monday and fell ill afterward to contact them. The symptoms those who ate there should be on the lookout for are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

It's unclear how many people have fallen ill so far. "It's hard to say how many people at this point," Traci Whittaker with the Delaware General Health District told Newsweek. It's hard to know because it's "just the infant stage of the investigation," she said. Even though there's no definite number yet, Whittaker put the estimate somewhere in the dozens.

The Chipotle location associated with the illnesses was closed Monday. "The local health department has informed us of two customer complaints of illness at one restaurant in Powell, OH. We acted quickly and closed this single restaurant out of an abundance of caution yesterday. We are working with the local health department and we plan to reopen this restaurant today," Chipotle said in a statement to Newsweek.

chipotle closed
A sign showing that the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 1924 Beacon St. is closed on December 8, 2015, in Boston. A Chipotle location in Ohio was closed Monday after customers reported falling ill after eating there over the weekend. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The health district was urging anyone who ate at the 9733 Sawmill Parkway location and was experiencing gastric issues like nausea and vomiting to call them, Whittaker said. Once those calls come in, the district can start a food history report and start collecting samples for testing. The testing will help determine what type of bacteria it could be that is making people sick.

The first reports that were made to the district were linked to that specific Chipotle location through food history. Those who were sick all reported having eaten there. "They all had that common denominator," Whittaker said.

In 2015, the Chipotle restaurant chain had a large outbreak of a strain of E. coli across several restaurants in 11 states. The contamination resulted in 21 hospitalizations and the chain closed 43 locations to in response to the outbreak to hopefully keep it from spreading, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

That outbreak was expected to have started in November of 2015 and it wasn't until February 1, 2016, that the outbreak was announced to be over. The current incident of illnesses is isolated to the one Chipotle location, unlike the 2015 outbreak.