Sickened Chipotle Customers Encouraged to Contact Health Department

The investigation is continuing into the rash of illnesses reported by customers who ate at the Chipotle restaurant on Triple Seven Road in Sterling over the weekend.

The restaurant voluntarily closed Tuesday and will undergo “a complete sanitization.” At least 13 customers reported getting sick after eating at the Sterling location Friday and Saturday.

“The Health Department is investigating this outbreak and is grateful for the information we are receiving from those who have been ill. We are working with Chipotle staff and patrons to identify the specific cause of the illnesses,” Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend, said in a statement issued today. “No specific cause has been determined at this point. We are encouraged that those affected are starting to feel better and we are focused on preventing any new infections.”

Customers who ate at the restaurant and became ill are encouraged to contact the Health Department at 703-771-5411.

The concerns are focused on a virus, likely spread by a human carrier, rather than a problem with the food supply chain, authorities said. The reported symptoms were consistent with the highly contagious norovirus.

The incident got national attention, in part because the company has had previous problems with viral outbreaks and contamination. A similar outbreak was reported at a Boston Chipotle restaurant in 2015, when 80 customers reported symptoms of the virus after eating there. Last year, the company had an E.coli contamination problem that hit its restaurants in 14 states.

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