The number of people who say they got sick after eating at a California Chipotle about a week ago keeps on growing: Somewhere around 100 customers at a Simi Valley store have reportedly come down with diarrhea, chills, and a variety of other ailments, and many have ended up at the hospital. Signs that something wasn’t right started on August 19 when the local ER began filling up with one burrito-eater after another. One man who had a 101-degree fever says his aunt, a hospital employee, told him that 19 more people showed up the same night, with similar stories. Management eventually cited a “lack of staffing” issue, and closed for a day, possibly because, by then, 17 of its own employees were ill.
Chipotle says that the store, which is now back in business, threw out all of its food and brought in fresh, new ingredients. Meanwhile, health officials say that they’re still conducting lab tests and asking customers to try to remember what they ate, but settling on one microbial culprit could be a Sisyphean task: The store apparently passed inspections despite having a litany of iffy-sounding conditions, like insects flying around, unlicensed workers handling food, a bathroom “in disrepair,” and repeat sanitary violations.