At least one lawsuit against Chipotle has been filed just as West Coast health officials have confirmed a rise in the number of people sickened by Escherichia coli (E. coli). The current count is 37--12 in Oregon and 25 in Washington.

On October 31, Chipotle promptly shut down 43 of its restaurants in Oregon and Washington after a rash of people were sickened with E. coli bacteria after reportedly eating at the popular chain. Now, a Washington woman has filed a lawsuit claiming that her meal--a burrito bowl--made her sick. The victim--Charmaine Mode--reported experiencing nausea and diarrhea about 4 days after eating at Chipotle. Mode went to the hospital for treatment, which caused her to miss work. She is seeking $75,000 in damages.

No direct cause of the E. coli contamination has been determined yet, but it is suspected that the source could be fresh produce because at least one vegetarian has fallen ill--meaning that the source may not have been meat. Chipotle continues to work with Oregon and Washington state health officials to track down the source. They have also hired food safety consultants to help pinpoint the exact cause. Other efforts include the restaurants undergoing deep cleaning and sanitizing, and environmental testing on batches of ingredients in their restaurants and distribution centers is being performed.

Sign up for Food Safety Magazine’s bi-weekly emails!