The Whatcom County resident sickened by E. coli had no link to the outbreak that affected about 40 people in Washington state and Oregon.
Most of the people who were ill said they ate at Chipotle restaurants in western Washington and the Portland area, but not all — and that included the Whatcom County resident. The Chipotle in Bellingham wasn’t one of the restaurants named.
Also, the Whatcom County person wasn’t sickened by the same type of shiga toxin-producing E. coli, according to Greg Stern, Whatcom County health officer.
“It’s just considered a sporadic case separate from the outbreak,” Stern said Tuesday, Nov. 17. “There’s no link to Chipotle and that case was removed from the case count.”
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What caused the outbreak isn’t known. Washington state health officials said Nov. 9 that they couldn’t find a source.
Chipotle, which had voluntarily closed its 43 Mexican food restaurants in Washington and Oregon during the investigation, reopened them, including the one in Bellingham, after meeting conditions that included a deep cleaning of the eateries.