Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. may soon end its seemingly never-ending agony over food contamination outbreaks across different US states.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may possibly declare an end to the restaurant's E.coli outbreaks as soon as Monday.
CDC's latest outbreak update released on Dec. 21, 2015 states that the last case reported was on Nov. 10, 2015. This means that there have been no reports of new illnesses in the past two months.
Investigators, however, have not yet been able to detect the specific ingredient that caused the contamination.
Declaring that an outbreak is over, means that investigations for the case will finally be put to a close.
In the middle of January, the executives at Chipotle told its investors that they are looking forward to CDC's end-of-outbreak announcement.
The E.coli outbreak related to Chipotle caused a total of 53 people over nine states to be infected with the bacteria. Out of this number, 20 required hospital admissions.
The outbreak started on October 2015, when majority of the ill cases were noted in Oregon and Washington.
The CDC performed extensive investigations on the matter, including conducting a highly-advanced laboratory procedure called whole genome sequencing. Through this technique, investigators were able to learn more about the the DNA fingerprint of the bacteria that caused the illness.
The sales and stock price of the restaurant plummeted over the course of the issue.
At present, Chipotle must put their best foot forward and prove that it is now safe to eat at its branches all across the U.S. The company will close all stores of Feb. 8 so officials could discuss advertising, marketing and social media strategies in the hope of regaining back their customers. Part of the meeting is their overall strategy to complete recovery.
The bacterial strain that infected the Chipotle customers was Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). People usually feel signs and symptoms two to eight days after ingesting the bacteria. Among the most common clinical manifestations of the infection are bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Usually, patients recover within a week.
Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr