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Chipotle Confirms The Cause of Sick Customers in an Ohio Restaurant

Chipotle employees will be gearing up for some re-training after the burrito restaurant chain revealed the cause of a foodborne illness at a Ohio restaurant.

Chipotle said that tests had confirmed that the cause of a recent outbreak of illness at a Chipotle on Sawmill Parkway in Ohio, between the dates of July 26th and July 30th, was due to Clostridium perfringens.

Hundreds were made sick by the bacteria which was confirmed by tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Health staff, 647 people who said they experienced gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at the Chipotle between those dates.

Clostridium perfringens is a type of bacteria that forms when food is left out at unsafe temperatures. It is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States and according to some estimates, the bacteria causes nearly a million illnesses each year.

Chipotle spent a long time trying to jump back from the E. coli outbreak it experienced in 2015 where hundreds of people had become sick.  Even with promotions and new items on the menu, restaurant goers were still shying away from the restaurant over the bad publicity.

It was just this past February that Chipotle hired Brian Niccol, the former CEO of Taco Bell, to win back customers and turn the company around. Niccol announced this year that the company would be closing 65 underperforming Chipotle restaurants as part of a corporate reorganization.

“Chipotle has a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of our stringent food safety standards and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again,” CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement published by USA Today.

“Once we identified this incident, we acted quickly to close the Powell restaurant and implemented our food safety response protocols that include total replacement of all food inventory and complete cleaning and sanitization of the restaurant,” he added.

So far this year, Chipotle shares have seen gains of over 70%.

Chipotle has said that it will be retraining all employees at its restaurants on food safety and wellness protocols.

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