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Chipotle Fined $25 Million for Repeated Food Poisoning OutbreaksRestaurants are the source of numerous food poisoning incidents each year for which they may or may not be responsible. Sometimes, the restaurant will unknowingly use contaminated food and the food supplier is the liable party. Other times, the restaurant may have caused the incident if it was negligent in safely preparing the food or maintaining a clean kitchen. If a single restaurant or chain of restaurants is involved in multiple food poisoning incidents, health officials may investigate the food safety practices of the restaurants. Officials can even recommend that criminal charges be brought against the restaurant for serving contaminated food.

Chipotle Pays Record Fine

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California fined Chipotle Mexican Grill $25 million for two counts of severing adulterated food in its restaurant. Chipotle agreed to pay the fine – which is the largest ever for a food safety case – and claimed that it has already spent millions more to improve its food safety practices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration traced at least five food poisoning outbreaks to the restaurant from 2015 to 2018 that are believed to have sickened more than 1,100 people. The cases included multiple norovirus outbreaks in different restaurants across the country. The allegations against the company included:

  • Improper training of employees in food safety practices
  • Not keeping food at high enough temperatures to prevent the spread of pathogens
  • Employees feeling pressured to continue working despite feeling sick
  • Restaurant managers not reporting incidents of employees vomiting at work to company safety officials until after customers complained about becoming sick

Norovirus is a pathogen that can be easily spread in a restaurant if infected employees are handling the food. Symptoms from norovirus can take 12 to 48 hours to develop and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Most patients improve in one-to-three days.

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Republican National Convention Attendees Suffer from Norovirus Outbreak

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland has come to a close, and from it came speeches from Republican leaders from around the country, hours of footage, and presidential nominee Donald Trump's official nomination, along with his running mate, Michael Pence. But something else happened during the convention. 11 members of the California delegation's support team fell ill with what appears to be norovirus, a highly contagious virus that can be transmitted from person to person and through consuming contaminated food or water. The individuals who fell ill were staying at the Kalahari Resorts approximately one hour away from the convention in Sandusky, Ohio.

Two of the 11 victims were pregnant and needed to be hospitalized. Like other types of food poisoning, norovirus can be especially dangerous for the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems. If you experience any of the symptoms of norovirus listed below, take steps to keep yourself hydrated and avoid any strenuous activity while you recover. It is also important that you avoid contact with others during your recovery because norovirus is contagious. If your symptoms worsen or fail to subside within a few days, seek medical attention.

Symptoms of Norovirus

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