Chipotle stock drops after OH restaurant closes due to sick customers

Roman Schwartz
August 4, 2018

Chipotle spokeswoman Laurie Schalow told Business Insider Chipotle planned to reopen the restaurant Tuesday pending approval from the local health department.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has reopened its Powell location as official investigate reports of illness linked to the restaurant. An investigation was carried out after several people reported illness after eating at a single Chipotle in Sterling; two people subsequently tested positive for norovirus.

Reports of illness first surfaced Sunday on the website, and surged into the hundreds following Business Insider's report. The Delaware General Health District, the county agency, said it was notified about three days later that five patrons who ate at the restaurant were sick.

Records show local health officials inspected the Powell Chipotle on July 26, and found violations related to food not being held at proper temperatures.

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"A follow up will occur in roughly 3 weeks due to cooling of lettuce", inspection records stated. Chipotle recently posted same-stores sales that beat estimates for the second quarter as Niccol starts to reshape the company, with new menu items, increased marketing, a delivery push and store remodels. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Chipotle Mexican Grill from $325.00 to $450.00 and gave the stock a "hold" rating in a research report on Friday.

"It's extraordinary that this is the seventh outbreak caused by Chipotle in recent years", Mark A. DiCello, a partner at DiCello Levitt & Casey, said in a press release about the suit.

"Our protocols identified a handful of illness reports at one restaurant in Powell", the company said in an emailed statement. The burrito chain said it would have its beef cooked at a centralized location to kill off any rogue bacteria, then have it shipped to restaurant locations in sealed bags. In the years since, the company has worked to regain trust and recover its losses through a combination of new food safety measures, employee training, and promotions for free food. Wednesday afternoon, the district said 518 reported getting sick, 95 reporting via email, and 423 by phone call.

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