An outbreak of E. coli linked to Chipotle that originated in the Pacific Northwest has spread south and east and has now infected people in six states. New cases have been reported in California, New York, and Ohio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The first cases were discovered late last month in Oregon and Washington, and more recently in Minnesota. Investigators have yet to determine the specific ingredient linked to the illness. So far, 45 people have been infected, with 43 of them saying they ate at Chipotle in the week before they became sick. The CDC said it is aware of illnesses starting on dates ranging from Oct. 19 to Nov. 8. The agency said that illnesses that took place after Oct. 31 may not have been reported yet.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. closed 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington in late October after health officials discovered most of the people sickened in the outbreak had eaten at its restaurants. The restaurants have since reopened. "At the moment, we do not believe that it is necessary to close any restaurants," Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email. He said the company has taken measures including deep cleaning in restaurants, replacing ingredients, and providing supply chain data to investigators. Of those sickened, two have been in Turlock, California; two in Burnsville, Minnesota; one in Amherst, New York; one in Akron, Ohio; 13 in Oregon; and 26 in Washington, according to the CDC. Sixteen people have been hospitalized, but there have been no deaths, the agency said. (Read more Chipotle stories.)