Health department receives hundreds of calls about Powell Chipotle

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Health department receives hundreds of calls about Powell Chipotle

Since Sunday night, the Delaware General Health District has received nearly 400 calls about Chipotle Mexican Grill, 9733 Sawmill Parkway in Powell. 

Many people report that they became violently ill after eating there between July 26-July 30. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or fever. 

The restaurant voluntarily closed Monday, and re-opened Tuesday afternoon, after health inspectors failed to uncover anything they said could have contributed to making diners sick. In a press statement, Chipotle said, 

Our protocols identified a handful of illnesses at one restaurant in Powell. We acted quickly and closed this single restaurant out of an abundance of caution,and are working the local health department.

NBC 4 Investigator Tom Sussi reports that the health department collected food samples from the restaurant, and stool samples from sick diners. Stephanie DeGenaro, who manages the food protection public safety unit for the Delaware General Health District said, “All of those samples will be taken to the Ohio Department of Health lab for testing. And then once we have the results back we’ll have some evidence of what pathogen maybe be causing the illnesses and where it came from.” 

DeGenaro said they have also asked the restaurant for contact information for all employees who worked at the Powell restaurant between July 26-30.

“There are a variety of pathogens that result in these kinds of illnesses,” she said. “Bacterial pathogens to viruses like norovirus. It could be a number of things.” 

DeGenaro said those lab results could be back as early as Friday. 

Over the past 28 months, Sussi found four other customer complaints filed against the restaurant with the Delaware General Health District: 

  • May 14, 2016: Customer complained that the “kitchen and prep areas were observed to be dirty.” 

  • May 17, 2016: Customer complained that the chicken in their chicken tacos seemed “rubbery and raw.” 

  • August 31, 2016: Customer complained that they “observed a maggot within their food.” 

  • July 23, 2018: Customer complained that “lettuce fell into prep area (food slide area) and employee put lettuce back into customer’s food” The restaurant served the customer a new bowl. 

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