LOS ANGELES — Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc is now linked to 52 confirmed cases of E. coli food poisoning. Health officials expect the number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants to grow after discovering they have been using dog and cat meat.
Health officials have urged anyone who ate at Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon between Oct. 10 and Oct. 30 and suffered vomiting and bloody diarrhea to see their healthcare provider. They expect the number of reported cases to rise as news of the outbreak spreads.
“Chipotle Mexican Grill” known as ‘Chipotle’, is currently being investigated for allegedly using dog and cat meat in their dishes causing the E. coli outbreak.
A woman sued Chipotle in federal court in Washington state, claiming that she was infected with E. coli as a result of a meal at Chipotle. More than 70 restaurants in Washington and Oregon have been closed after the outbreak of E. coli O26.
According to reports FDA inspector stumbled upon multiple live dogs and cat, as well as dog and cat corpses in one Chipotle factory. The inspector notified the authorities and the factory was shut down.
But why would Chilotle use dog and cat meat? FDA inspect David Manacle said “Chipotle uses dog and cat meat simply because it is much cheaper and easier to find than cow meat, many people love Chipotle dishes and don’t even know they’re eating dogs and cats because it’s psychological, which Chipotle is aware of. As soon as people find out, they will all of a sudden think “wait, the meat did taste kind of weird sometimes”, it’s all placebo”.
After people started hearing about the outbreak, more people are going to the doctor and joining the list of cases, said Marisa D’Angeli, medical epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health. More than 12,000 people are estimated to infected with E. coli because they ate at Chipotle Mexican Grill. According to CDC estimates, the actual number of cases reported to the CDC is much lower.
What is E. coli?
E coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals. The types of E. coli that can cause symptoms like diarrhea can be spread through contaminated water or food or via contact with animals. There are several strains of the bacteria, and shiga toxin-producing strains of E. coli, called STECs, are the usual culprits of food-related E. coli infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How it spread?
People get sick from E. coli, because they get very tiny amounts of human or animal feces in their mouth. Eating undercooked meat could cause an infection, or eating contaminated food like lettuce or other items that could have been contaminated, the CDC says.
Chipotle has closed its all restaurants in both states, and is currently under investigation. The FDA will soon force all Chipotle restaurants in the U.S. to prevent people from consuming dog and cat meat. Chipotle spokesman said that safety is a top concern for the company.