Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Update: E. coli Outbreak Shuts Down All Locations of Chicken & Rice Guys

[Ed note: This article was updated several times to reflect new information given.]

A local group of food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants has been forced to temporarily close its outlets due to an outbreak of E. coli.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Boston health inspectors have confirmed seven cases of E. coli that have stemmed from the Allston location of Chicken & Rice Guys, which supplies the food to other outlets in the area. The outbreak has resulted in what the Globe says is the temporary suspension of its operating license, with the brick-and-mortar locations in Allston, Downtown Crossing, and the Financial District being shuttered and all four food trucks being taken off the road. (The Globe says that as of Tuesday evening, the Medford outlet remained open, mentioning that Boston health inspectors do not have jurisdiction over the Medford location.)

The article states that Boston Inspectional Services will have a meeting with the owner of Chicken & Rice Guys on Wednesday morning to decide on a course of action.

[April 12 update: According to a post on its Facebook page, all locations of Chicken & Rice Guys--including Medford--are shuttered for now, and the company says that this was a voluntary closure. The post also says that The Department of Health is in the process of making a public statement on the matter, so expect more updates soon.]

[April 12 update #2: A series of tweets this afternoon from @PerryNBCBoston indicates that Boston Inspectional Services has suspended operation of all locations of Chicken & Rice Guys in Boston (including the food trucks) and that there are now 9-12 confirmed cases of E. coli (half of the people affected had to be hospitalized). The tweets also mention that there are a total of six violations, including "improper maintenance of walls/ceilings" and "clean clothes/hair restraints," and that the Medford location remains temporarily closed as well. Finally, one of the tweets states that the company has been "fully cooperative" with the city of Boston and it appears that the locations are currently being cleaned.]

[April 14 update: The Boston Globe now reports that 15 people have become hit by the E. coli outbreak connected to Chicken & Rice Guys, with 10 requiring hospitalization. The article says that the restaurants and food trucks won't be able to reopen until all of the food handlers have tested negative for the infection twice--and after inspectors confirm that each location complies with the food codes.]

[April 19 update: A new article from The Boston Globe mentions that all of the Chicken & Rice Guys restaurants and food trucks remain closed while city and state public health officials continue to find the source of  the outbreak. In addition, a lawsuit has now been filed by a diner who says he was sickened by E. coli after eating at one of the locations, while the legal firm involved states that it is also representing four other diners.]

[April 24 update: According to a Facebook post, the Chicken & Rice Guys restaurants are open again after passing inspection, though the food trucks remain off the road.]

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]