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Chipotle Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Minnesota

Health officials say the contaminated ingredient has been swapped out of all locations in the state.

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Chipotle is at the center of a food poisoning outbreak for the second time this month. According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Health has linked 17 local Chipotle restaurants to a Salmonella outbreak that has "sickened at least 45 people and sent five to the hospital." The source of the outbreak has yet to be confirmed but the authorities believe it to be an undisclosed ingredient.

That supposedly contaminated ingredient has "already been swapped out from" all Chipotle locations across the state. Chipotle tells the LaCrosse Tribune that it is working with health officials to confirm the cause. Doug Schultz, a spokesperson for the Health Department, says that "it's safe to eat at Chipotle," and reveals that he ate a burrito bowl from the chain on Wednesday.

The outbreak does not seem to be related to the Salmonella-tainted cucumbers that have sickened 341 people across 30 states. The cucumbers are distributed by San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce and they are sold in major grocery chains like Walmart and served in restaurants like Red Lobster.

Chipotle is facing another food poisoning situation in California. A Simi Valley outpost of the chain is said to be the source of nearly 100 cases of Norovirus. The restaurant sent home 17 sick employees late last month and shut down for a day citing a "staffing shortage." It used that day to clean the restaurant and restock with fresh and unaffected food.