According to CNN, the Center for Disease Control reports that 45 illnesses spanning six states are directly linked to Chipotle restaurants. Those numbers are up from the 11 illnesses and two states that were cited in the reports on the original outbreak.
Uh, yeah. It's that serious.
As previously reported, officials first linked the outbreak to restaurants in Washington state and Oregon. However another round of lab tests connects additional illnesses in California, New York, Ohio and Minnesota with the outbreak, despite having excluded the latter state from the list as recent as last week, the CDC reports.
Even more damning, all but two of the individuals affected by the outbreak said they fell ill within a week of eating Chipotle. Officials are still investigating the source of the contamination, but they have reason to believe that a single ingredient is the culprit.
Fortunately, Chipotle chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells is committed to cleaning up the restaurant chains and getting them back on track to serve food that doesn't cause customers' mouths to water for all the wrong reasons. "We are committed to taking any and all necessary actions to make sure our food is as safe as possible, and we are working diligently with the health agencies," he said in a statement.
The symptoms of the E. coli poisoning sound seriously awful (abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea and nausea), but luckily, the outbreak hasn't been linked to any deaths.