Minneapolis woman suing Chipotle in salmonella outbreak

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A Minneapolis woman hospitalized twice after eating at a Chipotle location in Minneapolis has filed a lawsuit after the Minnesota Department of Health linked a salmonella outbreak to the burrito chain.

April Beck ate at the Uptown Chipotle, at 2600 Hennepin Avenue S., on Aug. 10, 2015. According to the lawsuit, she developed stomach cramping and diarrhea 5 days later. Beck was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 23 after her symptoms worsened to the point that she struggled to stand. Beck was released from the hospital on Sept. 1, but was readmitted the following day because blood clots had formed in both arms.

Beck’s illness is one of 45 cases of salmonella reported in Minnesota since Sept. 2. Since many did not seek health care and get tested, officials believe there are likely more illnesses. Of the 34 people who have been interviewed by MDH, 32 ate or likely ate at 17 different Chipotle restaurant locations in Minnesota. Most of the locations are in the Twin Cities metro area, with one in St. Cloud and one in Rochester.

Officials are working on identifying a specific food item source of the outbreak. In the meantime, Chipotle has changed the source of the suspect produce item under investigation.

“Chipotle has been extremely proactive in collaborating with investigators to quickly control the outbreak and identify its source,” Dana Eikmeier, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Diseases Unit of MDH, said.

Statement from Chipotle

"The safety and well-being of our customers is always our highest priority. Since being contacted by the Minnesota Department of Health regarding a possible connection to this issue, we have offered our full cooperation to assist in their investigation, and replaced our entire supply of the suspect ingredient in Minnesota to ensure that it continues to be safe to eat in our restaurants. While this issue in Minnesota does not present an ongoing risk to consumers, we are committed to working with health department officials while they look to determine a cause."