The FDA and the CDC are currently investigating an outbreak of E coli infections linked to food from fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill. At least 22 people — 19 in Washington State and three in Oregon — have been infected with an undetermined strain of E. coli. Oregon health officials are cautioning ill people who ate food from Chipotle during October 14 to 23 to seek medical attention. Chipotle, which is headquartered in Denver, has closed restaurants near where the illnesses were reported.
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A Washington pharmacist is now suing the fast-food chain in federal court, after eating at Chipotle on Oct. 21 and suffering nausea and “severe diarrhea” four days later. The suit says that she was admitted to the hospital, where she “endured a painful rectal examination.” Local health officials attributed her illness to the Chipotle outbreak the day after that. The lawsuit seeks damages of at least $75,000.
A spokesman for the Oregon Public Health Division said that the E coli outbreak was likely caused by contaminated produce.
The Washington State Department of Health warns that more victims are expected to come forward this week. Its website says that consumers should practice proper food safety — thorough cooking will kill the bacteria and prevent illness.