Ohio residents who said they were sickened after eating at a specific Chipotle restaurant said the pain they suffered was unlike anything they had ever experienced before.
James Moore-McDermott said he got violently ill after eating a chicken bowl and two steak bowls from the Chipotle in Powell, where more than 700 cases related to a possible foodborne illness were reported late July.
“I woke up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat, stomach cramps that required instant attention and that persisted for quite some time,” he said.
Filip Szyller said he also got sick after eating three chicken tacos he purchased from the same Chipotle.
“I woke up at about 3 a.m. with just excruciating abdominal pain, nausea, hot flashes and cold flashes that continued for the next four days,” he said.
Szyller filed a civil suit against the fast food restaurant, one of multiple faced by the chain.
The Powell restaurant voluntarily closed and sanitized its store, including power-washing the equipment.
But with more than week since the outbreak, health officials still are unsure what caused the hundreds to become ill.
“You usually have two main sources of an outbreak; it's either an ingredient served in the food or a sick employee,” said attorney Ron Simon, whose law firm is handling the suits against Chipotle. “If it were an ingredient, you would expect to see all of the Chipotle stores in the area having illness because they get their food all from the same source. Instead, it’s more likely, and I’m sure it's going to be, a sick employee or sick employees.”
Chipotle said in a statement that “the health of our guests and employees is our top priority. We take all claims of food safety very seriously … we are cooperating fully with the local health department."