Western N.Y. E.coli case linked to Chipotle

Signage hangs from a closed Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore., Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. Chipotle voluntarily closed down 43 of its locations in Washington and the Portland area as a precaution after an E. coli outbreak linked to six of its restaurants in the two states has sickened nearly two dozen people. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After a resident of Erie County contracted E.coli the Department of Health worked to learn where the toxin-producing bacteria originated.

After an investigation into the sickness that the person contracted in October, officials learned it originated from a Chipotle Mexican Grill establishment in Amherst. The same strain of E.coli has previously been linked to more than 40 cases across the country, closing down various Chipotle restaurants.

“The food item that caused was distributed and served at the end of October that caused the illness is probably no longer at that Chipotle restaurant, it’s already been consumed or disposed of because we have not identified any subsequent cases and neither have the health departments in the other five states,” Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health, said.

The largest outbreak in Washington, sickening at least 26, forced the national chain to close down roughly 40 restaurants, that have since reopened.

“At the moment we do not believe that it is necessary to close any restaurants,” Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said, noting the company has taken measures, including deep cleaning restaurants and replacing ingredients, to prevent further outbreak.

Erie County Health Department officials say the person who contracted E.coli has since recovered and there are no additional cases, but officials say they’ll remain vigilant.

“We offer our sincerest apologies to those who have been affected,” Steve Ells, CEO and chairman of Chipotle, said. “We are committed to taking any and all necessary actions to make sure our food is as safe as possible and we are working diligently with the health agencies.”

E.coli sickening is described as a sickness that causes diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting for roughly a week.

Officials are advising anybody with similar symptoms who may have eaten at a Chipotle establishment to contact a health care provider and seek treatment.

Copyright 2015 WIVB. All rights reserved.

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