There are dozens of Chipotle restaurants in New York City. People eating at the fast food chain in New York City, like people in other cities across the country, have been exposed to bacteria that have caused sickness and possibly death in some places. As of Dec. 2, 2015, 52 people were known to be infected and made ill by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC 026). Of these 52, 90 percent (47 people) had reported eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill. Twenty people have been hospitalized.
The precise source of the food poisoning is unknown. However, this is not the only incident of food contamination linked to the fast food chain. In October, at least141 college students in Boston became ill after eating at Chipotle restaurants near the Boston College campus. The culprit in that outbreak was norovirus. A few months earlier, customers of Chipotle restaurants in nine states became ill with another E. coli outbreak.
New York City maintains a database of restaurant inspection results that reports letter grades assigned to restaurants after being inspected. Interestingly, Chipotle restaurants received A grades. Possible grades are A, B and C, with A being the highest. The database allows searching by restaurant name, ZIP code, type of cuisine, borough or grade. For example, in ZIP code 10028, in upper Manhattan, five restaurants received grades of C, while 22 restaurants received B’s. A’s were assigned to 532 restaurants in this ZIP code.
The Health Department also provides information about major food-borne illnesses that have been found in New York City over the years:
- Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B
- E. coli0157:H7/Shigatoxin
- Scombroid (Histamine) (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
For each illness that can be caused by contaminated food, the website describes the number of people infected each year, the symptoms and how the illness is spread. For example, botulism, a serious illness frequently caused by contaminated food, occurs in about 110 people each year in the United States. One or two people are diagnosed with botulism in New York City every year.
If you believe that you were made ill by contaminated food, speak with a knowledgeable New York City personal injury attorney to learn about your rights. You may be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit.