The Internet at the Speed of Thought

5 Popular Restaurant Chains That Had E. Coli Outbreaks

at2:54 pm | By

Chipotle Joins the List of Restaurants with Outbreaks

What is E. coli? You may have heard a lot about it, especially in recent months, but how much of a threat does it pose to you?

Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria common to the lower intestine of warm-blooded creatures, and while some strains are harmless, others can lead to potentially severe food poisoning, which is often the case when E. coli makes headlines.

e coli intro

Source: Twitter @escqu

Most recently, the bacterium has been in the news following an outbreak at about a dozen Chipotle locations in the Pacific Northwest, which led the chain to close over 40 restaurants. But E. coli is no stranger to the fast food world, whether or not people remember it, and history might give us a glimpse as to whether or not Chipotle will recover from this health crisis.

Keep reading to see which of your favorite fast food chains also had E. coli outbreaks in the United States.

Chipotle (2015)

e coli chipotle

Source: Twitter @NYDailyNews

In October 2015, health department officials in Washington and Oregon began investigating E. coli cases that they traced back to 11 Chipotle locations. The chain voluntarily closed 43 restaurants in that area before more cases were reported in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

With 53 reported cases, Chipotle is still under investigation, and still conducting their own investigations, to get to the root of the outbreak. A norovirus outbreak at a California branch of the restaurant that sickened 234 people, including 17 employees, last August may lead to criminal prosecution against the chain.

Chipotle reported a 16% decline in business at the height of the outbreak.

McDonald’s (1982)

e coli mcdonald's

Source: Twitter @bruno_desmond

America’s most popular fast food chain, McDonald’s is the piece de resistance in the world of quick and easy burgers, but this restaurant isn’t immune to health concerns either.

The first time that E. coli O157:H7, a strain that produces a dangerous toxin most commonly associated with disease, was linked to an outbreak from eating ground beef occurred after 47 people got sick from McDonald’s locations in Oregon and Michigan.