Chipotle is under criminal investigation


According to the Wall Street Journal, the fast food chain Chipotle is now being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention after outbreaks of E. coli, food poisoning, and the norovirus. It has been confirmed that 53 people have been infected as a result of eating at Chipotle.

The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation has been working with the U.S attorney’s office in trying to bring a Chipotle in Simi Valley, Cali. to court for information about a series of norovirus outbreaks tied to that particular restaurant. The norovirus known as the “winter vomiting bug” in Europe, is a stomach virus.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to legal experts and said that the idea of one restaurant causing an outbreak and being investigated by federal authorities is “highly unusual” because the norovirus is very common.

Most of the E. coli illnesses have been reported in Oregon and Washington, but a number of other cases were reported in California, Ohio, Minnesota, Massachusetts and New York, according to NBC Washington.

According to the Washington Post, 120 students at Boston College have been infected with E. coli after eating from Chipotle. Several members of the men’s basketball team from Boston College got sick, forcing Boston College to temporarily close the accused Chipotle while health officials investigate.

The local Chipotle near Boston College was recently reopened and Alex Duppee, a student at Boston College, decided to give it another shot.

“I went back to the Cleveland Circle Chipotle this break, and it was totally empty, but I have never been in such a clean restaurant,” Duppee said. He also said that since most students were gone for break, Chipotle was empty, but it was hard to predict if Chipotle will ever be a popular place to eat at again.

Lauren Kaufman, a sophomore at Boston College got food poisoning after eating Chipotle on a Sunday night and she felt sick the following day, “The whole day my stomach was in knots and I was constantly throwing up. I couldn’t even look at food,” Kaufman says.

Unlike Duppee, Kaufman hasn’t gone back to Chipotle since she was sick. “Sadley I haven’t [returned], it’s the one thing I loved that was hurting me,” Kaufman said.

JC students who frequently eat at Chipotle have opened up on how they feel about the Mexican grill associated with certain illnesses.

“My aunt did get sick. It was crazy because she eats super healthy and organic stuff, and Chipotle was the only thing she ate that day so she knew it must have been that. It was like two days before Thanksgiving, and she had all the symptoms. So we knew she had food poisoning,” sophomore Bella Brooke said.

Cautious of getting sick, junior Esther Peters has stopped eating at Chipotle. “The recent outbursts of sickness in certain places all over the country have scared me since there was one even in Maryland,” Peters said.

Back in December, Maryland was one of seven states that was impacted by the E.coli virus after 53 people reported getting sick after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in central Maryland.

Junior Ryan Fey loves eating at Chipotle and even ate there after the outbreaks in Maryland started, but he never got sick. “I think they [Chipotle] need to fix whatever is going on right now before they continue to serve food,” Fey said.

On January 14, Chipotle made a nationwide statement that they will be shutting down all Chipotle restaurants on February 8 for one day only, in order to get a grip on the increasing amount of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks.

Azanae Barrow is a Community Editor for The Patriot and