Chipotle has shut down a restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, after multiple reports of customers getting sick after eating there.
Customers reported symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, dehydration, and nausea to the website iwaspoisoned.com, which first alerted Business Insider to the issues at the Sterling restaurant. One person reported two hospitalizations as a result of the illnesses.
In total, eight reports were made to the website, indicating that at least 13 customers fell sick after eating there from July 14-15.
Chipotle told Business Insider that it is aware of the illnesses and has notified local health officials.
“We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” Jim Marsden, Chipotle’s executive director of food safety, said. “The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus. Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle.”
He said the illnesses are isolated to the Sterling restaurant and that the company plans to reopen that location on Tuesday after sanitizing it.
Customers who fell sick after eating at the Sterling restaurant reported “vomiting violently,” fevers, “violent stomach cramps,” and dizziness for several days.
“Friday 7/14 Daughter and friends went to Chipotle,” one customer wrote on iwaspoisoned.com. By the next morning the daughter was “violently sick, puking, diarrhea, severe pain, overnight into Sunday. Friends ill as well with one friend also in ER.”
The daughter was hospitalized Sunday for dehydration, nausea, and pain and on Monday was still in “severe pain,” according to the customer.
“This is the worst that I have ever seen,” the customer wrote.
Norovirus is different from E. coli, the bacteria that led to a widespread outbreak at Chipotle restaurants in 14 states two years ago.
The virus is highly contagious and causes symptoms like stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. It’s the most common cause of food-borne illnesses in the US with more than 21 million cases annually.
Cases of norovirus stemming from restaurants can often involve a worker who failed to wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom.
Chipotle has dealt with norovirus cases in the past. In December 2015,nearly 120 Boston College students fell sick after a norovirus outbreak at a restaurant close to campus .
Here are some of the reports from iwaspoisoned.com related to the Sterling restaurant. All the reports were made between July 16-17:
- Friday 7/14: Daughter and friends went to Chipotle Saturday 7/15: stomach pains and nausea started in morning Saturday 7/15: violently sick, puking, diarrhea, severe pain, overnight into Sunday. Friends ill as well with one friend also in ER. Sunday 7/16: Hospital visit for dehydration, nausea, pain Monday 7/17: severe pain, trauma pain This is the worst that I have ever seen. Severe food borne illnesses can cause long-term damage to the gastro-intestinal track. This was BAD!
- I ate a chicken bowl at 6ish and the rest at 11 pm Friday and then woke up Sunday morning with diahrrea and was nauseous
- Wife and I ate chicken bowls Friday night. Puking brains out Saturday night and Sunday.
- Ate salad bowl on Friday at 1230pm, became ill at 3pm on Saturday. Three up multiple times, had fever, dizziness, etc. Salad bowl with chicken, Pico, beans, medium salsa, corn ;
- My husband and I both had chicken around 7:00 on Friday, July 14th. Over 24 hours later, we both started vomiting. We are still experiencing symptoms as of Monday morning.
Chicken bowl – around 6 pm on 7.15.2017
- My husband and I shared a burrito bowl last night for dinner around 6:30 PM. It had rice, chicken, corn, pico, sour cream, cheese, medium salsa. At around midnight my husband woke up vomiting violently. Less than an hour later I began vomiting as well. We have since continued vomiting in addition to having diarrhea, stomach pains, dizziness upon standing, and low grade fevers. Chipotle was the only thing we both ate yesterday.
- My Son and I both had burrito bowls and became violently ill within hours of each other. He was visiting from college. Chipotle was the only food item we both ate that day. Violent stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting. Violently ill. Same exact symptoms Burrito bowl. Steak, rice, green peppers and onions, guacamole, cheese. Violently ill.