Chipotle Suffers Another Food Poisoning Scandal

For some unlucky patrons at a Chipotle in Virginia, there was something extra with their burritos and chips — and it wasn’t extra guac! Instead, a handful of customers ended up extremely sick after contracting norovirus.

Chipotle Faces Problems Again

Norovirus is a small, highly contagious virus. It spreads when a person comes into contact with infected foods or fluids, or another infected person. In a restaurant setting, it can rapidly spread when an infected worker handles foods or utensils.

While rarely fatal by itself, norovirus is known as a particularly unpleasant virus. It causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains, and is the most common cause of gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu. It generally goes away after a few days. For children, elderly people, or people with health complications, however, it can lead to further issues, particularly through dehydration.

This isn’t the first time Chipotle has faced foodborne illness woes. They only recently settled with more than 100 customers who became sick with E. coli after eating at their restaurants, and have had a difficult time shaking “food poisoning” from their reputation. At the Virginia restaurant, the doors are back open after thorough sanitization, but the chain is still dealing with bad press, tumbling Wall Street stocks, and wary customers.

Liability for an Illness

In some cases of food spread illnesses, it is difficult to ever determine where the virus or illness originated. This means that, even though food poisoning can be dangerous and terrible, is it hard to hold a restaurant or store liable for their food poisoning. In order to file a lawsuit, the victim must prove that:

  • The food was contaminated
  • The food caused the illness

If the victim is the only person who got sick, this may be harder to prove. However, if numerous people become ill after eating at the same place, as they did in this case, an outbreak will be easier to trace. In these cases, a class action lawsuit can occur. A variety of parties can be considered liable for a foodborne illness, including manufacturers or slaughterhouses and stores and restaurants. It may be a defective product case, or also an issue of negligence.

Will you ever be eating Chipotle again, or has this turned you off completely?


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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