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Chipotle shuts down Virginia restaurant after illness reports

By Ed Adamczyk
Chipotle shuts down Virginia restaurant after illness reports
A Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Va., closed after customers reported illnesses after eating there. File Photo by Susan Montgomery/Shutterstock.com/UPI

July 18 (UPI) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill has shut down one of its Virginia locations Tuesday after customers reported getting sick after eating there, the company said.

Eight customers reported symptoms of stomach pain, dehydration, and nausea to a poisoning website. They indicate that at least 13 customers were sickened and two were hospitalized after eating at the Sterling, Va., location over the weekend.

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"We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible," Jim Marsden, Chipotle's food safety director, said. "The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus. Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle."

Marsden added that the restaurant will reopen after the facility is sanitized.

Norovirus differs from E. coli, a food-born bacteria that led to a widespread outbreak at Chipotle sites in 14 states two years ago.

Chipotle has dealt with norovirus issues in the past, notably when nearly 120 Boston College students fell sick after an outbreak at a restaurant near campus that year, Business Insider reported Tuesday.

Norovirus outbreaks often involve an employee failing to wash their hands after using a restroom.

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Shares of Chipotle fell on Wall Street Tuesday after news of the Virginia closure -- dropping 7.6 percent to $362.40, its largest one-day fall since December.

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