An outbreak of salmonella poisoning in Minnesota has been linked to Chipotle restaurants – with 45 people falling ill.
The Minnesota Department of Health issued a health alert Thursday afternoon saying all 45 cases have been reported in the past 8 days, but that the total number of people affected in the outbreak is likely to be larger.
So far 34 people struck by food poisoning have spoken with health officials, and of those 32 said they ate or "likely ate" at 17 different Chipotle restaurant locations in the state prior to falling ill.
MDH says 15 of them are in the Twin Cities, with one in St. Cloud and one in Rochester, but it said other locations may have been involved as well.
Affected restaurants in the in the metro area are as follows:
7 Corners (Minneapolis), Bloomington, Calhoun, Crystal, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Richfield, Ridgedale, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Lawson, Uptown, and US Bank Plaza (Minneapolis). However, it is possible that other locations in Minnesota could have been affected as well.
Those affected are believed to have eaten at the restaurants between Aug. 16-26 and fell ill between Aug. 20-29.
The MDH said Chipotle has been "extremely proactive" in collaborating with officials to control the outbreak and locate its source.
"Chipotle has changed the source of the suspect produce item under investigation... and has taken every appropriate measure to ensure that it is safe to eat in its restaurants," the release said. "Investigators are confident that ongoing transmission at Chipotle as part of this outbreak has ended."
This outbreak is not linked to a separate salmonella outbreak reported at the weekend caused by tainted cucumbers, some of which made it into Red Lobster meals.