Food safety lawyer says Chipotle not careful

A sign posted on the door of a Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore. reads "temporarily closed due to a supply chain issue." Image AP

SEATTLE (AP) – A food safety lawyer who is involved in other lawsuits against Chipotle restaurants says people should not assume a company that focuses on local and fresh ingredients is going to be immune from food safety issues.

An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon has sickened nearly two dozen people in the third outbreak of foodborne illness at the popular chain this year. Chipotle said they would try to say more about the E. coli outbreak later Monday.

Although E. coli cases have only been connected to six restaurants so far, the company has closed 43 restaurants in the two states. Attorney Bill Marler of Seattle law firm Marler Clark says the company should be commended for that action.

But he says three cases of foodborne illness in a few months shows Chipotle is not paying attention to food safety like it should.

Health officials who are investigating the cause of the outbreak believe it is likely connected with a fresh food product. Marler agrees.

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