SoCal Chipotle Linked to Norovirus Outbreak Affecting Nearly 100 People

An investigation found that seven of out of 18 specimen samples tested positive for Norovirus.

Health officials believe a food-borne illness that sickened dozens of customers at a Southern California Chipotle is Norovirus.

About 80 restaurant customers and 18 restaurant employees reported symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness after eating at the restaurant located at 1263 Simi Town Center Way in Simi Valley during the week of August 18, officials said in a press release Friday.

A joint investigation between the Ventura County Environmental Health Division (EHD) and the Ventura County Public Health Division found that seven of out of 18 specimen samples tested positive for Norovirus, a "very contagious virus."

After the reported food poisoning, the restaurant voluntarily closed, threw out all remaining food products and sent home a number of affected employees, officials said. Health officials also inspected the facility.

The EHD said employees who tested positive for the virus will remain off duty until they are cleared to return to work.

"Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States," said Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County Public Health Officer. A person can contract Norovirus from contaminated food or water, by touching contaminated surfaces or through affected people.

There have been no further reports of illness since the initial reports, according to health officials.

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