Chipotle agrees to record $25 million fine over tainted food

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Chipotle E coli_132994

Signage hangs from a closed Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore., Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. Chipotle voluntarily closed down 43 of its locations in Washington and the Portland area as a precaution after an E. coli outbreak linked to six of its restaurants in the two states has sickened nearly two dozen people. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chipotle Mexican Grill agreed Tuesday to pay a record $25 million fine to resolve criminal charges that it served tainted food that sickened more than 1,100 people in the U.S. from 2015 to 2018, federal prosecutors said.

The fast food company was charged in Los Angeles federal court with two counts of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by serving adulterated food that sickened diners at its restaurant with norovirus, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

The virus is easily transmitted by infected food food workers. The Newport Beach, California-based company will avoid conviction by improving its food safety.

Federal prosecutors said the fine was the largest fine in a food safety case.

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