Watch CBS News

Chipotle CEO: Boston Restaurant With Norovirus Will Be 'Completely Sanitized'

NEW YORK (CBS) -- The CEO of Chipotle is apologizing to sick customers and promising to completely sanitize a Boston restaurant where scores of local students contracted norovirus.

In an interview on the TODAY show Thursday morning, founder and CEO Steve Ells specifically addressed the closed Cleveland Circle Chipotle, where Boston College students became sick from norovirus after eating at the chain restaurant.

"When we reopen, the restaurant will be completely sanitized and every single employee will have been tested and assured that they do not have norovirus," Ells said.

Boston College said Thursday that a total of 141 students reported norovirus symptoms after eating at the Chipotle over the weekend. The school also said 12 students who did not eat at Chipotle had symptoms.

The Boston Public Health Commission says laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of norovirus, but came back negative for bacterial pathogens, including E. coli.

A worker inside the Cleveland Circle Chipotle that was shut down (WBZ-TV)

"I have to say I'm sorry for the people who got sick, they're having a tough time and I feel terrible about that," Ells said. "We're doing a lot to rectify this and make sure this doesn't happen again."

Chipotle has also been dealing with an E. coli outbreak linked to its restaurants out west that sickened dozens of people in late October. The exact source of the E. coli has not been pinpointed, but Ells said that if there's a "silver lining" to the incidents, it's that the chain is paying closer attention to its ingredients.

"The procedures we're putting in place to eat are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat,'' he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.