Chipotle temporarily closed the restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, after multiple customers got sick with vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain — symptoms consistent with norovirus, a highly-contagious virus that spreads in feces and infects the stomach and intestines.
On July 24, health officials confirmed that 2 people tested positive for the same strain of norovirus after eating at the Chipotle Mexican Grill located at 21031 Tripleseven Road.
Dr. David Goodfriend said no illnesses have been reported since the Chipotle was cleaned and re-opened on July 19:
The Health Department is not aware of any customers becoming ill since the reopening of the facility last Wednesday.”
Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said “we believe someone was working while sick.” In response, employees will undergo “relentless training” to make sure everyone understands that they can’t work if they are sick.
The outbreak is a reminder of 2015, the year hundreds of Chipotle customers were sickened in multiple outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella, and norovirus at multiple restaurant locations.
In September 2016, Chipotle said it had paid lawsuit settlements to nearly 100 people who were sickened with food poisoning in those outbreaks.
Norovirus (sometimes called the “stomach flu”) is one of the most common causes of food poisoning outbreaks. People who are infected with norovirus usually develop symptoms within 12 to 48 hours after eating contaminated food, and most people get better in 1 to 3 days.