Published: Mon, December 21, 2015
Business | By Max Garcia

Chipotle strikes again as 30 Boston College students fall ill

Chipotle strikes again as 30 Boston College students fall ill

Jack Dunn, a Boston College spokesman, said in an emailed statement Tuesday that 80 students have reported to the university's BC Health Services with gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, as of Tuesday afternoon.

Following this, an investigation was launched by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the City of Boston Inspectional Services Department and the Boston Public Health commission.

The students all said they had eaten at a Chipotle in Boston's Cleveland Circle over the weekend.

The Boston College students, including members of the men's basketball team, were thought to have been the latest victims of the Tex-Mex chain's food safety scare.

Chipotle has been handling a spate of food-borne illnesses with a multi-state outbreak of E. coli.

Students have been tested for both E. coli and norovirus, though the results won't come back for several days. Each year, norovirus causes 19 million to 21 million illnesses. Moreover, those who have contracted norovirus are students and residents from Boston College along with non-Boston College patrons.

The CDC said it can take two or three weeks after someone becomes ill for them to report the illness, so they are unsure of how many people are affected.

Chipotle strikes again as 30 Boston College students fall ill

Since the original E. coli incident, Chipotle's stock shares have fallen at least eight percent.

It can be easily spread by person-to-person contact, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Chipotle says it thinks the Boston College illnesses are an isolated case of norovirus and unrelated to the E. coli cases that have turned up in nine states.

"Health officials in Boston believe this is likely a norovirus, which seems consistent with the pattern, in our estimation", Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told NBC News.

The Boston incident is a "near-term negative reinforcement", when viewed along with the E. coli incidents in Chipotle's restaurants and other health-related issues the company has dealt with since the summer, Anderson said.

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