Cause of reported illness that closed Powell Chipotle still undetermined

Investigates

Negative. 

That’s the word from the Ohio Department of Health regarding the first batch of stool samples it tested from people who blame Chipotle Mexican Grill, 9733 Sawmill Parkway, Powell, for making them sick. 

The Delaware General Health District says the samples tested negative for Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli and Norovirus. Further stool testing will be conducted for other pathogens.  

The food samples are still in the process of being tested for Bacillus Cereus or Clostridium Perfringens in addition to the four diseases listed above that are tested in stool samples.  

To the surprise of at least one man who blames the restaurant for making him sick and missing two days of work, the business remains open. 

Patrick McDonald told NBC4 Investigator Tom Sussi, “If there is one thing we expect from a board of health is to really give us a more definitive answer before an establishment like that is open again.” 

Since Sunday night, 683 people have contacted the Delaware General Health District with concerns about the Powell restaurant. More than 200 of them, according to the health department, reported the same gastrointestinal symptoms, including McDonald. 

Sussi asked him, “Should the restaurant be open right now?” McDonald said, “No, I don’t think so.” 

When the first volley of complaints rolled into the health department, Chipotle voluntarily closed Monday and reopened Tuesday afternoon. Stephanie DeGenaro, who manages the County’s food protection public safety unit said, “They had gotten rid of any food that was in the facility and they had gotten a new shipment of food prior to re-opening.” 

DeGenaro said the company also cleaned and sanitized the entire facility. “And after review of processes, there wasn’t anything we could point to require the facility to stay closed.” 

DeGenaro told Sussi they’re also contacting all Chipotle employees who worked at the Powell store during the outbreak, July 26-30. 

McDonald said, “For public health they should have the courtesy of keeping the restaurant closed until we pinpoint it because it’s very likely the problem is not solved.” 
 

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