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Officials investigate illness outbreak at Ventura County Chipotle

It's unclear whether the tacos barbacoa or burrito bowl made stomachs churn, but officials say dozens of customers fell ill after eating at a Chipotle in Simi Valley.

Ventura County health officials believe at least 60 patrons felt sick after eating at the Mexican food restaurant Aug. 18 and Aug. 19.

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Now the Ventura County Public Health Department is conducting an investigation to determine what caused the outbreak, which forced the restaurant to close its doors for a day.

Health officials are looking to talk to anyone who ate at the restaurant in the 1200 block of Simi Town Center Way on those dates and find out what they ate, the time they ate and a description of their symptoms.

Following reports of the illnesses, Chipotle closed the restaurant until the next day, said Douglas Beach, manager for the Ventura County Environmental Health Division.

Jugs of guacamole, cilantro-lime rice and other items were tossed out, and the restaurant was cleaned, he said.

During an inspection Monday, a health investigator found some violations, including dirty restrooms; flies; equipment connected to sewer lines; unsanitary floors, walls or ceilings; and unclean utensils or equipment. Some workers also didn't possess valid food handler cards.

The restaurant passed the inspection despite the violations, Beach said.

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