Chipotle shares take fresh hit after Boston College students fall ill

Eight Boston College Basketball Players Sick After Eating Chipotle

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- Thirty Boston College students got sick after eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill over the weekend, a school spokesman said, sending company shares down 6 percent in extended trading on Monday on fears of more food poisoning problems at the burrito chain.

Chipotle said it had temporarily closed its restaurant in Boston's Cleveland Circle, where a college spokesman said all the students reported eating, while it works with local health officials to investigate the illnesses.

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The sickened students included members of the Boston College men's basketball team, spokesman Jack Dunn said.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health received more than 20 reports of illness from Boston College students and is working to determine if they are tied to a Chipotle-linked outbreak of E. coli, spokesman Scott Zoback said.

More on Chipotle closures around the country:

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Chipotle closings because of E.coli
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Federal health investigators said on Friday the E. coli outbreak had expanded to nine states, with 47 of the 52 people sickened having reported eating at the chain.

"We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related to the previous E. coli incident," Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email. "There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts."

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Boston College officials sent alerts on Monday to students, informing them of the suspected food poisoning.

The time between ingesting E. coli bacteria and feeling sick is usually three to four days, but may be as short as one day or as long as 10 days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms often begin slowly with mild belly pain or non-bloody diarrhea that worsens over several days.

The Chipotle outbreak was first identified in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, and the company temporarily closed all 43 of its restaurants in those markets on Oct. 31.

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The states with reported cases are Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, in addition to Oregon and Washington. People in those states were sickened between mid-October and mid-November.

Chipotle warned on Friday that the outbreak was expected to cause this quarter's sales at established restaurants to fall for the first time in company history. It also said sales could be battered by additional reports of illness.

Chipotle shares were down 6.4 percent to $516.61. Before the reports of illness, shares traded at nearly $650.

Related: See cases of E. coli outbreaks in recent years:

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E. coli cases and food poisoning
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Chipotle shares take fresh hit after Boston College students fall ill
BOSTON - AUGUST 23: Colony of E. coli cells are grown in the synthetic biology lab at Harvard Medical School in Boston on Tuesday, August 23 2011. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ELIOT, ME - MAY 26: Kyler Dove, a seventh grader at Marshwood Middle School in Eliot, stops to take a drink from one of the 11,520 water bottles donated to the school Tuesday, May 26, 2015 by Cumberland Farms. Home Depot and Hannaford have also made donations to the school as it manages the current E coli scare. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - MAY 23: A shopper looks for bottled water on nearly empty shelves at a New Seasons Supermarket May 23, 2014 in Portland, Oregon. Oregon health officials ordered Portland to issue a boil-water alert after three separate samples tested positive for E. coli, a bacterium that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)
Jack Kurtz, 10, right, and mother Paula Gillett pose for portrait in their Rockford, Illinois home, November 5, 2009. Jack recovered from a food-borne illness last year. The source of the E. coli that hospitalized him was never determined. (Photo by Lane Christiansen/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Madison Sedbrook, 6, right, and her mother Cindy are in their home at Highlands Ranch on Tuesday. Madison's parents are suing because she got e coli from eating raw cookie dough recalled by Nestle. Hyoung Chang/ The Denver Post (Photo By Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - FEBRUARY 21: A BJ's Wholesale Club awaits customers on February 21, 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Yesterday, the giant wholesaler announced a voluntary recall of prepackaged Wellsley Farms mushrooms, due to possible trace amounts of E.coli. No cases of the illness have been reported. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)
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