Centre for Disease Control has praised Chipotle restaurants for closing its outlets in Washington and Oregon. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc took the voluntary decision after it was reported that at least 37 people fell sick due to food poisoning. The decision was commended by Federal health officials. It is this decision that has in a way stopped big, multi-state outbreaks of food poisoning.
Director of Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Frieden told the reporters that they do not have an idea about what caused it. Also, there is no certain proof that the identified cases are related to each other, he further added.
The US based Mexican food chain announced last week that they have decided to close 43 outlets in Washington and Oregon. The decision was taken after 22 cases of people becoming sick with a virulent category of E. coli infection came into light. With additional cases being registered on Tuesday, the toll reached 37. Though the report is yet to be elaborated, the restaurant took a brave decision. Taking responsibility rather than finding excuses is always better.
The officials at CDC also praised the restaurant chain for being extremely co-operative with the investigation procedure. Dr. Kathleen Gansheimer of the Food and Drug Administration told the media that Chipotle is sharing all its records with them. They are also helping the centre in every possible way to get information about their suppliers. Officials are equally concerned since the outbreaks are not limited to a single state. The leading causes behind these outbreaks were Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria.
These three germs are known to be the cause behind 91% of multistate outbreaks. They also contaminate some widely consumed variety of food which includes vegetables, beef, chicken and fresh fruits. As multistate outbreaks have more serious after effects than other foodborne outbreaks, the officials want to identify the cause as soon as possible. Since the germs are deadlier and the effects are worse and long-lasting.
The outbreak caused serious damage to the restaurant’s otherwise good reputation. Few of the casualties have filed a law suit against Chipotle. No comments were made in regards with the law suit. Though, Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s spokesman said in an official statement that Chipotle immediately decided to close all of its restaurants in the area. The action was taken out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems, Arnold added. Earlier this year, the restaurant also reported Salmonella outbreak associated with tomatoes. Amidst the continuous hustle bustle, this action will surely help the process of intervention.
As the germs that are identified with the infection can affect seriously, CDC is investigating extensively to identify the major cause of outbreak. Severe stomach cramps, vomiting and bloody diarrhea are some common symptoms of the infection. Though, CDC and Chipotle are yet to find a food item that can be specifically blamed for the outbreak, investigation is being carried out to every possible extent.
Dr. Frieden further advised restaurants to buy from distributors who follow safe handling practices.