UPDATE: 80 BC Students Sick from Chipotle in Cleveland Circle
Several members of Boston College’s men’s basketball are feeling pretty nauseous, but it’s not because of nerves on the court. Thirty students and counting, including members of the team, developed gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at Chipotle—a fast-food chain reeling from an E. coli outbreak around the United States.
On December 8, a note from Thomas I. Nary M.D., director of University Health Services & Sports Medicine, indicated that 80 students visited campus health services by noon on Tuesday “with gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea.”
“The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been notified, and is working to determine if there is a link to the ongoing national outbreak of e-coli,” according to an emailed statement from Jack Dunn, BC’s director of public affairs. The Tuesday dispatch added they are also testing for norovirus. Test results will not be available for at least two days.
In a letter to students on Tuesday, Nary said students experiencing the symptoms should stay hydrated, rest, and eat small meals. “In typical cases, most individuals do not need medical treatment and symptoms will improve on their own,” he wrote. All members of the campus community—and, one can presume, the wider world—are encouraged to wash hands frequently.
Liam Martin, a reporter at WBZ, first tweeted the news on Monday.
The Beacon Street store is temporarily closed while health officials investigate the reports, Chipotle’s communications director Chris Arnold said. “We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related the previous E. coli incident. There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.”
According to the sports blog BC Interruption, an unnamed Boston College coach begs to differ. “There are 8 players on the team confirmed to have E.coli,” the coach told the website.
The first reports of E. coli related to Chipotle surfaced in mid-November, linked to 11 restaurants in Washington and Oregon. The company temporarily closed 43 restaurants “out of an abundance of caution,” and implemented more rigorous testing, safety audits, and deep cleans at stores nationwide.
Later in November, the company received five additional reports from restaurants in California, Ohio, Minnesota, and Amherst, N.Y. At the time, the company said people who contracted E. coli reported eating at a Chipotle between October 13-November 6.
“Since this incident began, Chipotle has continued to serve more than 1 million customers a day in its restaurants nationwide without incident,” its statement reads. “Chipotle is aggressively taking actions to implement industry leading food safety and food handling practices in all of its restaurants and throughout its supply chain.”
Boston will update this article with more information as it becomes available.
UPDATE, 8 p.m.: this article has been updated with a figure from BC’s Jack Dunn, that 30 total students have presented gastrointestinal symptoms since eating at Chipotle in Cleveland Circle this weekend.
UPDATE, December 8, 12:23 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect that 80 students, as of noon today, have presented gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at the Cleveland Circle Chipotle this weekend.