Filed Under:Claims, Investigative & Forensics

CDC ends Chipotle E. coli probe, fails to find pathogen source

In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, file photo, a microbiologist points out an isolated E. coli growth on an agar plate from a patient specimen at the Washington State Dept. of Health in Shoreline, Wash.
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, file photo, a microbiologist points out an isolated E. coli growth on an agar plate from a patient specimen at the Washington State Dept. of Health in Shoreline, Wash.

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded its investigation into two E. coli outbreaks that sickened dozens of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. customers and thrust the chain into a crisis that wiped out more than $10 billion in market value.

The CDC was unable to determine the source of contamination but said it was probably a common meal item or ingredient. Chipotle shares rose on the news, as investors bet that the worst was over for the company after almost three months of negative headlines.

Chipotle’s reputation, built on the promise of fast food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, has been battered in recent months. The two E. coli outbreaks, which sickened at least 60 customers in 14 states, raised questions about the chain’s protocols for handling ingredients. Chipotle has apologized for making customers sick and announced changes to it says will make it an industry leader in food safety.

Related: Chipotle's Seattle woes put fresh scrutiny on safety procedures

Chipotle, which is scheduled to report earnings on Tuesday, said last month that sales plunged almost 15% in the fourth quarter, the first decline for the chain as a public company. The company also disclosed that it had been served with a grand jury subpoena in a federal grand jury investigation in California.

The criminal probe stems from a norovirus outbreak last summer at a restaurant in California, where more than 200 workers and customers were sickened. A Chipotle restaurant in Boston was shuttered for weeks in December after a norovirus outbreak there sickened more than 140 students from nearby Boston College.

Please give us a Like on Facebook!

Copyright 2017 Bloomberg. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Featured Video

Most Recent Videos

Video Library ››

Top Story

20 best car insurance companies of 2016 ranked by consumers

What are the best auto insurance companies? Insure.com’s customers rank 20 of the biggest insurers.

Top Story

7 things insurance agents need to know about P2P insurance

Insurance agents and brokers face competition from a variety of sources, including P2P start-ups. Here are seven things you need to know about them.

More Resources

Comments

eNewsletter Sign Up

Claims Connection eNewsletter

Breaking news on disasters, fraud, legal trends, technology, and CE initiatives for the P&C claim professional – FREE. Sign Up Now!

Mobile Phone

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.