Chipotle has spent the last few months negotiating confidential settlements with nearly 100 people who got food poisoning. By agreeing to out-of-court settlements, the company will avoid bad publicity from a jury trial as it struggles to revive sales.

More than 450 people were sickened in at least five outbreaks of food poisoning last year.

There were two outbreaks of E. coli. The first outbreak infected at least 60 people in 11 states, including 21 who were hospitalized. In December, another outbreak of E. coli sickened five people in three states.

Chipotle had two outbreaks of Norovirus, including one in December that sickened 80 college students in the Boston area. In August, 243 people were infected with Norovirus after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, California.

Also in August, 64 people were sickened with Salmonella after eating at Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The outbreak was linked to tomatoes. None of the other outbreaks were linked to a specific food item.

Chipotle has not had any major food poisoning scares since making changes to improve food safety. The company uses less locally-grown produce and does more food prep at an off-site location.

Source: Reuters

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