The plaintiff, Kent Smith, ate at a Chipotle restaurant on September 5 and got sick four days later. He was hospitalized for two days. While hospitalized, a stool sample tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella. He continues to suffer from gastrointestinal dysfunction and receives follow-up medical care, according to his lawsuit.
Investigators tried to trace the tomatoes back to a farm of origin, but no recall was issued. Chipotle said it switched produce suppliers and removed tomatoes from its Minnesota restaurants, according to CNN.
Dozens of illnesses have been linked to 22 Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota. The earliest illness was reported on August 19, three days after a meal was eaten at Chipotle. Most of the restaurants are located in the Twin Cities.
Salmonella is a bacteria that commonly occurs on unwashed fruits of vegetables. Symptoms typically last 4-7 days and include fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
The FDA warns that complications can be deadly:
“In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.”
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