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Chipotle now under criminal investigation for food contamination

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CALIFORNIA — Add a criminal investigation to the list of problems that Chipotle restaurants are dealing with.

Among the problems: three people in Oklahoma fell ill after eating at a Chipotle on Campus Corner in Norman.

The CDC is investigating a possible link to problems in other states.

Now the Mexican grill chain has been served with a federal grand jury subpoena related to the norovirus at a California restaurant. The federal investigation is related to an incident at a Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, California last August.

That’s when nearly 100 people became sick with norovirus — a nasty stomach bug that spreads through contaminated food and water. You can also get it easily from surfaces that haven’t been cleaned properly or from infected people.

In a statement, a Chipotle spokesman said the company “will cooperate fully with this investigation.”

It’s one of several outbreaks linked to the restaurant chain since last summer.

Investigators said tomatoes contaminated with salmonella made 64 customers sick in Minnesota.

Then an e-coli outbreak that spanned nine states sickened 52 people.

“I was terrified that I was going to go to bed and not wake up.”

The source of the e-coli was never found.

Then in dDcember, at least 140 people became ill after eating at a Boston Chipotle in another norovirus outbreak.

“After so many people got sick after eating here, I’m not sure if I’m going to come back.”

CEO Steve Els apologized on the today show back in December.

“I’m sorry for the people who got sick. They’re having a tough time, and uh, I feel terrible about that, and we’re doing a lot to rectify this.”

Sales at Chipotle restaurants that have been open for at least a year plunged by nearly a third in December.