Test Results Are Back For Norovirus at Kent Chipotle

Published: Apr. 28, 2008 at 2:32 PM EDT
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Kent, OH - State health officials at the Ohio Department of Health laboratory confirmed that the food borne illness associated with Chipotle in Kent, Ohio was Norovirus Genotype G2.

It is evident that the food consumed from the Kent Chipotle between Tuesday April 14 and Friday April 18th was contaminated with norovirus.

Stool samples collected from people who had eaten chipotle food between 4/14 and 4/18 tested positive for Norovirus Genotype G2.

The food specimens taken on-site at Chipotle on April 18th were tested by ODH.  Kent City Health Department collected food samples from Chipotle as well as leftovers from sick patrons. Samples were testing for the following organisms, and all tests were negative:

  • Staphyloenterotoxin;
  • Salmonella,
  • Shigella;
  • E. Coli O157
  • Fecal Coliforms

John Ferlito, Kent City Health Department Health Commissioner states "We know the cause of the outbreak was norovirus.  It is very difficult to confirm the origin of the contaminated food items to a foodborne outbreak."

Secondary cases of infection are starting to emerge.  Secondary cases of illness occur from people who have been in close contact with someone having severe nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea during the time frame that the norovirus was present in Chipotle's food.   Close contact could mean that individuals used each other's eating utensils or drank out of the same glass, or an infected person failed to practice good hand washing.

Local health officials from Kent City and Portage County encourage individuals to practice good hand washing and other hygienic measures to prevent person-to-person transmission. Be sure to hands before and after eating, before and after preparing food, and after using the restroom.  Washing hands with plenty of soap and warm water, scrubbing for 20-30 seconds and drying hands with a clean paper towel is best.  Particularly when you are ill, it's important to wash your hands more frequently to prevent transmission of your illness to others.