A Chipotle Mexican Grill in Vancouver, Washington.
Photograph by Steve Dykes — Getty Images
By Phil Wahba
December 9, 2015

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s (CMG) problems with food safety keep getting worse.

Boston College said Wednesday the number of students suffering from symptoms consistent with the Norovirus is now 120, up from an estimate of 30 earlier this week. The school said, “Nearly all cases are related to students who ate at the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle” last weekend. Chipotle has temporarily closed that location.

Norovirus is a highly communicable virus spread by infected food, inadequate hygiene, and touching infected surfaces. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In a schoolwide message, Boston College officials asked students to go home once their finals are over, seeking to contain the virus’ spread.

The norovirus problem comes on the heels of an E. Coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants that sickened dozens of customers and also cut deeply into its revenue. Last week, Chipotle warned investors comparable sales might fall as much as 11% this current quarter because of the outbreak. That was before the Boston incident, which is not connected to the E. coli outbreak.

Chipotle executives earlier this week faulted the media and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for fanning fears about the E. coli outbreak. Last week, the company outlined steps to improve food safety.

“We offer our sincerest apologies to people who were impacted by this incident,” a Chipotle spokesperson said by email.

Updates to include statement from Chipotle.

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