Chipotle to Reopen All 43 Outlets in Seattle, Portland

Reuters

Chipotle Mexican Grill said it would reopen all 43 restaurants in Seattle and Portland after health officials found no evidence of E. coli bacteria at those outlets.

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The company closed the restaurants on Oct. 31 after a reported outbreak of E. coli, which caused food poisoning among some people who had eaten at eight of its restaurants.

Health officials have concluded that there is no ongoing risk from the incident, Chipotle said on Tuesday.

Shares of the company, known for using organic ingredients and antibiotic-free meat, were up 2.2 percent at $622.95 in early trading.

The company said it would replace all ingredients at the closed restaurants and reopen the outlets in the "coming days".

Chipotle will test fresh produce, raw meat, and dairy items before restocking restaurants.

The company said none of its employees at these restaurants had E.coli.

Chipotle is also working with health officials to improve food handling and implement other safety procedures to ensure quality.

E. coli is among a vast array of bacteria that live in the human gut and which cause no problems. But some strains can cause serious symptoms and even be life-threatening, and are spread by oral contact with fecal matter.

Up to Monday's close, Chipotle's shares had fallen nearly 5 percent since the company announced the closure of restaurants.

(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)