A growing number of lawsuits have been filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill, after hundreds of consumers became ill with food poisoning after eating at an establishment in Ohio, including several cases that resulted in the need for hospitalizations.
Local health officials are currently investigating a Chipotle Mexican Grill food poisoning outbreak, which has resulted in at least 518 inquiries to the Delaware General Health District for illnesses setting in shortly after eating at the fast food restaurant in Powell, Ohio.
In addition, the establishment faces a lawsuit filed by Filip Szyller, a customer who says he ate chicken tacos at the restaurant on July 29, and became ill with fever, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, fatigue and hot and cold flashes. It is also expected that a Chipotle food poisoning class action lawsuit may be filed over the outbreak in the coming days.
According to the Delaware General Health District, the agency has received 94 emails and 423 phone calls related to the food poisoning outbreak from patrons who have recently eaten at the establishment and began noticing symptoms of illness. To date, the agency indicates investigators have interviewed more than 200 people who reported nausea, diarrhea and fevers among other ailments shortly after eating at the establishment.
The agency is continuing to interview patrons and is collecting stool sample kits to be sent to labs to test for similar strains of bacteria.
The Powell, Ohio Chipotle location had temporarily shut down last week following the illness reports and was being investigated by the Delaware General Health District. The establishment was inspected and the only violations found were related to pinto beans and lettuce being kept at incorrect temperature. After discarding all of the inventory, the establishment reopened on Tuesday.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has experienced at least seven different foodborne illness outbreaks over the last two years, resulting in dozens of lawsuits against the nationwide food chain.
In February 2016, several norovirus complaints were filed against Chipotle on behalf of patrons from Oregon and Washington after more than 100 people were diagnosed with the infection after eating at the establishment.
That Chipotle outbreak was preceded by a salmonella food poisoning outbreak that sickened 64 customers who ate at another location of the Mexican food chain in Minnesota that same month. It was then followed by an E. coli outbreak in October and November, which sickened at least 53 people in nine states; another outbreak that sickened 140 patrons of a Boston restaurant, and reports of five other norovirus illnesses scattered across three states, all of whom also were traced back to Chipotle eateries.