J.P. Morgan Downgrades Chipotle Amid More E. Coli Cases

December 22, 2015, 6:49 PM UTC
Photograph by Scott Eisen—Getty Images

Chipotle stock is down 30% from its high in August after the Centers for Disease Control reported Monday that five more people were sickened by an E. coli outbreak.

In response to the outbreak news, a J.P. Morgan analyst said the health issues were “too much,” and downgraded Chipotle’s stock from “overweight” to “neutral,” according to MarketWatch.

The newly reported cases, which occurred in late November, are not clearly linked to a larger outbreak that peaked in October and sickened 53. “Because it is not known if these infections are related to the larger previously reported outbreak of STEC O26 infections, these illnesses are not being included in the case count for that outbreak; this investigation is ongoing,” the CDC wrote on Monday. These cases were infected with a “different, rare DNA fingerprint” of the previous E. coli bacteria.

Between the slew of outbreaks linked to Chipotle, including norovirus events in Simi Valley, Calif. and Boston, Food Safety News estimates that around 500 people have been sickened by the chain in the past half-year.

Chipotle announced earlier in December that it was rolling out new food safety systems to “establish Chipotle at the forefront of food safety protocols in the restaurant industry.”

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold pointed out in an email to Fortune that the most recently announced cases occurred before that announcement in the days surrounding Thanksgiving. “It’s important to note that these cases predate the changes we are making with regard to food safety planning,” he explained.

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