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Local E. coli case tied to Chipotle chain

Photo from Chipotle Twitter feed.

The Erie County Health Department is investigating a case of E-coli that is linked to an area Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurant. In the past month there were similar outbreaks in five other states.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gail Burstein tells WBFO News the local case is the first in New York State linked to the chain restaurant.

"We don't currently know which specific food item is linked to the illness, so that's still under investigation," stated  Burstein.

The County Health Department is conducting an investigation with the State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

E.Coli or Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, causes diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting. Most recover within a week, but some illnesses last longer and can be more sever.  The health department noted that anyone who was recently ill with diarrhea lasting for more than three days, or accompanied by a high fever or blood in stool and eat at a Chipotle to contact their health care provider.

However, Dr. Burstein said they believe the outbreak is over.  "The good news is the exposure happened at the end of October at the same time period the other states reported exposures, and so far we have not had any subsequent E. Coli cases reported to us, so we're hoping this outbreak is coming to a close," said Burstein.

The local person has since recovered.

Chipotle has responded to the outbreak. It announced it has 'reopened all of the restaurants in the Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon markets' that were voluntarily shut down.

"Health officials have concluded that there is no ongoing risk from this incident. Chipotle has taken important steps to make certain that our food is as safe as it can be," said the company.