Chipotle slumps eight percent after Ohio outlet linked to food…

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(Reuters) – At least 140 people said they had fallen sick after eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N) restaurant in Ohio, sending shares of the burrito chain down 8 percent in early trading.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Chipotle Mexican Grill is seen at the Chipotle Next Kitchen in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Customers said they suffered from food poisoning and diarrhea after eating dishes including tacos and burrito bowls at the Powell, Ohio restaurant over the past few days, according to food safety website iwaspoisoned.com.

It was not immediately clear if these customers had received doctors’ diagnosis linking their illnesses to food eaten at the chain.

The posts on iwaspoisoned.com are anonymous and Reuters could not immediately verify the accounts.

Chipotle shut down the restaurant on Monday after receiving complaints and said it was looking into the cases.

“We are not aware of any confirmed foodborne illness cases, and we are cooperating with the local health department,” a Chipotle spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

Ohio state health officials were not immediately available to comment on the incident.

The news is another setback to the company, which was recovering from a series of high-profile food safety lapses in 2015 that sickened more than 100 customers and bruised Chipotle’s reputation and stock price.

Shares of the company were down 7.4 percent at $431.12, erasing gains made since Chipotle reported stronger-than-expected profit and same-restaurant sales for its second quarter on Thursday.

Just months before the 2015 food safety incidents, Chipotle was trading at over $700.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva



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