The Latest on Chipotle E. coli Outbreak in Washington & Oregon - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Latest on Chipotle E. coli Outbreak in Washington & Oregon

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Health officials expect the number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon to grow while they investigate the cause of the infection. Health officials expect the number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon to grow while they investigate the cause of the infection.

SEATTLE, WA - The latest in an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon (all times local):
 

11/5/15 5:30 p.m.

Health officials in Washington and Oregon say a total of 40 people are now on the list of people sickened by E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states.

Washington took one person off its list on Thursday after lab tests showed one case of E. coli was not connected with the bigger outbreak.

Health officials say 28 people in Washington have contracted E. coli, with the most cases in Clark County, just north of Oregon.

Oregon added two more people to its list on Thursday.

Oregon health officials say 12 people have E. coli in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Columbia counties.

A dozen people in the two states have been hospitalized with E. coli, but no one has died. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area of Oregon as health officials search for the source of the E. coli outbreak.

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11/4/15 2 p.m.
    
A total of 39 people have been sickened with E. coli in the outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
    
Oregon health officials revised their number of cases down to 10 on Wednesday after further testing revealed some of the people previously suspected of being part of the outbreak had an unrelated illness.
    
Washington health officials added four people to their count of E. coli cases related to the outbreak, making the Washington state total 29 as of Wednesday.
    
Neither Washington nor Oregon health officials are reporting any progress in finding the source of the E. coli bacteria, although they continue to test fresh food samples from Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and the Portland area.
    
Chipotle officials say eight restaurants are connected to the outbreak, but they have voluntarily closed all Chipotle outlets in Washington state as well as their restaurants in the Portland, Oregon, area.
    
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11/4/15 - 12:45 p.m.
    
Washington health officials are reporting four more confirmed cases of E. coli in the outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
    
That brings the total number of people sickened by E. coli in Washington and Oregon to 41. Oregon also is expected to update its numbers on Wednesday afternoon.
    
Washington health officials say the illness has apparently spread to one new county in the state, Whatcom County, which is near the Canadian border.
    
Chipotle says eight restaurants are connected to the outbreak. They have voluntarily closed all Chipotle outlets in Washington state and the restaurants in the Portland, Oregon, area.
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11/03/15 1 p.m.
    
Health officials say 37 people have E. coli in Washington state and Oregon amid an outbreak tied to Chipotle restaurants in the Northwest, an increase from 22 cases reported earlier.
    
Washington health officials are still testing samples from people who have fallen ill in Clark, Cowlitz, Island, King and Skagit counties to see if they all have the same form of the potentially deadly illness.
    
Officials say most of those sickened by E. coli have eaten at the Mexican food chain.
    
Nine people in Washington and three in Oregon have been hospitalized, but no one has died. People with E. coli connected with the outbreak have ranged in age from 5 to 60.
    
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9:15 p.m.
    
A woman has filed a lawsuit against Chipotle, claiming she contracted an E.coli infection after eating a burrito bowl Oct. 21 at a Chipotle restaurant in Vancouver.
    
Charmaine Mode from Kelso, Washington, filed the lawsuit Tuesday through Minneapolis law firm PritzkerOlsen in U.S. District Court in Western Washington. Documents say she sought treatment Oct. 27 after falling ill on Oct. 25 with nausea, severe diarrhea and other symptoms.
    
Three people in the Portland area and 19 people in western Washington have gotten sick with E. coli as of Friday. Seventeen of them had eaten at a Chipotle restaurant during the past few weeks. Eight people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported.
    
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3:30 p.m.
    
The Washington state epidemiologist says more people are being tested for E. coli in Washington state as health officials work to track down the source of an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
    
The official count of people sickened remained at 22 on Monday afternoon, but Dr. Scott Lindquist says about a dozen more people are being tested for the illness in Washington.
    
Lindquist says he does not expect the number of sick people to increase dramatically, but he said they are not positive yet that the outbreak is limited to people who ate at Chipotle restaurants over the past few weeks. Two people among the 22 cases have told health officials they do not believe they ate at a Chipotle restaurant.
    
Health officials are aggressively searching for more cases and are trying to find out what the restaurants connected with the outbreak have in common.
    
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1 p.m.
    
Analysts say the E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the Northwest could make consumers wary.
    
Allen Adamson of New York marketing consultancy BrandSimple says people have many fast food options and if they are worried about the safety of food they will avoid a chain until they're certain the problem has been resolved.
    
Chipotle's stock fell as much as 5 percent early Monday, but recovered slightly, and was down about 3 percent by Monday afternoon.
    
Although the shutdown restaurants represent just 2 percent of the company's total locations of 1,931, Chipotle says each restaurant brings in about $2.5 million in revenue a year on average.
    
Laura Ries, president of Atlanta marketing strategy firm Ries & Ries, said the decision to immediately close the 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon will help the brand in the long term. She says the chain "went above and beyond what they needed to do."
    
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9:45 a.m.
    
A food safety lawyer who is involved in other lawsuits against Chipotle restaurants says people should not assume a company that focuses on local and fresh ingredients is going to be immune from food safety issues.
    
An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon has sickened nearly two dozen people in the third outbreak of foodborne illness at the popular chain this year. Chipotle said they would try to say more about the E. coli outbreak later Monday.
    
Although E. coli cases have only been connected to six restaurants so far, the company has closed 43 restaurants in the two states. Attorney Bill Marler of Seattle law firm Marler Clark says the company should be commended for that action.
    
But he says three cases of foodborne illness in a few months shows Chipotle is not paying attention to food safety like it should.
    
Health officials who are investigating the cause of the outbreak believe it is likely connected with a fresh food product. Marler agrees.
 

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