Chipotle's foodborne nightmare continues. Nothing's official yet, but the national E. coli outbreak linked to the burrito chain may have spread to Massachusetts. Several athletes at Boston College have fallen ill and all say they've recently eaten at Chipotle, reports SB Nation's BC Interruption. The school's medical staff has emailed students to warn them against eating at the restaurant.
An email sent out earlier today to all the BC athletes. General population got one a couple hours later. pic.twitter.com/Ss0uQZdyMA— Michael Sullivan (@SullyHeights) December 7, 2015
That email was first sent to BC athletes, then to the entire student body. Eight Boston College basketball players were held out of the Eagles' game on Sunday due to food poisoning, but coaches now tell BC Interruption they are actually "confirmed to have E. coli." The illnesses appear to be linked to a single location on the school's campus, and that restaurant has been shut down, according to Boston's local CBS affiliate.
In its most recent update on the situation, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the outbreak has spread to nine states, and at least 52 people have been sickened. Officials still haven't determined the cause of the outbreak. Chipotle's public health disaster began in the Pacific Northwest and resulted in the temporary shutter of 43 locations in Oregon and Washington last month. Those restaurants have since reopened, but good news for the chain was short lived as more E. coli cases were reported 10 days later.
Update: December 8, 9:20 a.m. "The safety and well being of our customers is always our highest priority, so our restaurant at Cleveland Circle in Boston is temporarily closed while we work with local health officials to investigate a number of illnesses among Boston College students," Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said in a statement provided to Eater. "We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related the previous E. coli incident. There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts."
Update: December 8, 10:40 a.m. Massachusetts Department of Public Health spokesperson Scott Zoback says more than 25 people have been sickened, and the cause has not yet been determined.
"We know there is a gastrointestinal illness, we know it appears to be connected to the Chipotle on Cleveland Circle right near the BC campus," Zoback said in a phone conversation with Eater. "We're working right now with our colleagues in Boston Public Health to determine a cause, so no confirmed cause at this time."
Zoback said the Department of Health hopes to determine the cause of the illnesses in the next 24 hours.