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Chipotle E. Coli Outbreak Widens In Washington And Orgeon

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Mike Mozart
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Flickr
Chipotle has clsoed 43 of its restaurants in Washington and Oregon while health officials investigate the e. coli outbreak.

The e. coli outbreak tied to Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest continues to expand. Twenty-five people in Washington and 12 in Oregon have confirmed infections, with dozens more suspected.

All 43 Chipotle restaurants in Washington State and the Portland area are closed while public health officials investigate the outbreak.

Washington State Health Officer Kathy Lofy says they are focusing on produce and seasonings, but they have not nailed down which ingredient is the culprit.

“This outbreak is particularly challenging because of the types of ingredients that are used at Chipotle and the fact that some ingredients can be used in multiple different products,” she said.

Officials say the pattern of infections suggest that a meat product is not to blame.

At least nine people in Washington and three in Oregon have been hospitalized, with no deaths reported.

Officials say they expect more cases to pile up before the outbreak is through, and in Washington they are watching about 25 people with suspected infections.

King County Health Officer Jeff Duchin says the strain of e. coli tends to be less severe than others. He says most patients with e. coli get better on their own. 

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