The source of a Chipotle-linked salmonella outbreak that sickened dozens of people in Minnesota has been traced to tomatoes.
At least 64 people who ate at 22 different Chipotle locations were sickened by the tainted food, including nine who were hospitalized, according to Minnesota’s health department.
Health officials are still working to identify the source of the tomatoes.
Meal dates for the cases range from August 16 to August 28 and people became ill between August 19 and September 3.
Chipotle is facing two lawsuits from customers affected by the outbreak.
One lawsuit was filed by April Beck, who says she was hospitalized twice and developed blood clots in her arms after eating at a Minneapolis Chipotle on August 10.
According to the lawsuit, Beck started developing stomach cramping and diarrhoea five days after eating at a Minneapolis Chipotle.
Her symptoms grew worse over the next several days and she was admitted to a hospital on August 23, where she was treated with IV fluid for severe dehydration, according to the lawsuit.
She says she was released from the hospital nine days later on September 1, but had to return the following day because of blood clots in both her arms.
Her second hospital stay lasted until September 4, the lawsuit stated. Beck says she has continued to suffer from diarrhoea and blood clots since then.
Beck is seeking unspecified damages for general pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, emotional distress, and pharmaceutical expenses, according to the lawsuit.
Chipotle declined to comment on the litigation.
“As a matter of policy, we don’t discuss details associated with pending legal action,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said.
The company has replaced the tomatoes suspected of sickening people and says it is now safe to eat in its restaurants.
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