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Chipotle Linked to Minnesota Salmonella Outbreak

Chipotle has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 45 people, hospitalizing five.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the outbreak has been linked to produce, but neither Chipotle nor the department has said what produce they were investigating.

Typically associated with chicken and undercooked eggs, salmonella outbreaks have recently been linked to fruits and veggies, including Chipotle standards: peppers and cilantro. The department said Chipotle is cooperating.

“Chipotle has been extremely proactive in collaborating with investigators to quickly control the outbreak and identify its source,” said Dana Eikmeier, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Diseases Unit of MDH in a press release.

The department said the outbreak is not associated with an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers.

Of the 45 cases reported so far, 32 people ate at one of the 17 locations in and around the Twin Cities area. The MDH stated that meal dates ranged from August 16 to August 26 and those affected became ill between August 20 and August 29. The popular restaurants served some 560,000 people in that time, leading investigators to believe there are many more people that may still be sick.

Chipotle locations listed in the investigation are 7 Corners (Minneapolis), Bloomington, Calhoun, Crystal, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Richfield, Ridgedale, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Lawson, Uptown, and US Bank Plaza (Minneapolis).

At least among Midwestern eaters, the outbreak raises more questions about Chipotle’s food, which the restaurant touts as a healthy alternative to fast food. The news comes just days after the fast-casual burrito giant was called out in the New York Post for claiming to be healthy as they roll up 1,500-calorie burritos.

The outbreak hasn’t affected stock prices; shares in CMG are already up 30 basis points and $2 to $725.57. 

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