"It's unknown at this time when those stores will reopen, but out food safety program here at the department of health is working closely with Chipotle."
3. Various of presser conference.
4. SOUNDBITE, Kathy Lofy, state Dept. of Health:
"Currently, 25 ill patients in Washington are associated with this outbreak. This morning our colleagues in Oregon announced 12 ill people linked to this outbreak, which brings the total number of people ill in the Pacific Northwest to 37.
5. Various of lab technician putting gear on.
6. SOUNDBITE, Kathy Lofy, state Dept. of Health:
"I think that there's a very good chance we'll end up with more cases."
7. Tight of petri dish with E. coli.
8. SOUNDBITE, Kathy Lofy, state Dept. of Health:
"Outbreaks of shiga toxin producing E. coli are always very concerning to public health since the symptoms can, potentially, be severe."
9. Various of lab and lab technician, including petri dish.
10. SOUNDBITE, Jeff Duchin, King County Public Health:
"I don't know for sure that we're going to be able to identify the specific cause of this outbreak because, again, the meal ingredients are so mixed up that many of the different dishes contain the same ingredients."
11. Wide of lab technician and clean your hands sign.
Chipotle's industry-leading commitment to tracking its ingredients from farm to table is being put to the test by an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 37 people as of Tuesday, nearly all of whom ate recently at one of the chain's restaurants in Washington state or Oregon.
Scientists also said Tuesday that they identified the specific microorganism responsible, which they believe was carried on fresh produce such as lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro or onions, or possibly even spices.
The chain of casual Mexican restaurants voluntarily closed 43 locations in the two states after health officials alerted the company to a growing number of E. coli cases involving people who shared one common experience: a meal at Chipotle during the last two weeks.
The numbers grew Tuesday from three to 12 probable cases in Portland area and from 19 to 25 probable cases in five counties near Seattle.