Chipotle’s E. coli problem may have spread to Boston.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Boston College official said:
Boston College has confirmed that several BC students and student-athletes, including members of the BC men’s basketball team, have reported to BC Health Services complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms. The common factor among the students is that they had all eaten at the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been notified, and is working to determine if there is a link to the ongoing national outbreak of e-coli.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued information regarding this outbreak, which can be found on the FDA website.
Students who are experiencing these gastrointestinal symptoms are encouraged to seek medical care either at BC Health Services or from their own physician.
In after hours trade shares of Chipotle were down as much as 5%.
BC Interruption’s Eric Hoffses earlier reported that a BC basketball coach said eight players on the team were confirmed to have E. coli. An email from a BC athletics official obtained by Michael Sullivan, sports editor of a Boston College student newspaper, told student athletes:
“Dr. Nary just called and put out an immediate warning for all athletes:
DO NOT EAT AT CHIPOLTE’S!!!!![sic] He has a veritable epidemic up at Health Services right now and the men’s basketball team is right up there in numbers.
PLEASE INFORM YOU R [sic] COACHES!”
MyFoxBoston.com additionally reported that a university-wide email was later sent, noting that a number of students had come to health services with illnesses after having eaten at Chipotle.
Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Business Insider in a statement:
The safety and well being of our customers is always our highest priority, so our restaurant at Cleveland Circle in Boston is temporarily closed while we work with local health officials to investigate a number of illnesses among Boston College students. We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related the previous E. coli incident. There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.
These reports add to what has been a torrent of bad news for Chipotle over the last month or so.
On Friday after the market close, Chipotle disclosed that sales in the fourth quarter are on track to fall between 8% and 11%. On Monday, Chipotle shares fell about 1.5% following the news. In the last three months, shares of the company are off more than 20%.
Earlier on Friday, the CDC released an update on the recent E. coli outbreak, which began in Oregon and Washington state, and which was initially tied to a number of Chipotle restaurants.
According to the CDC’s latest update, 52 people in nine states have come down with E. coli, with 47 of these patients having reported eating at Chipotle in the week before their illness started.
Prior to the CDC’s update, Chipotle had put out a release detailing the steps it was taking on food safety following the E. coli outbreak, with the company saying that there had been no evidence of exposures to the bacteria after November 7.
It appears like this news out of Boston, however, could increase this total.