BOSTON — More than 20 Boston College students, including at least eight members of the men's basketball team, complained of gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at a Chipotle restaurant, school officials said Monday.
It was not immediately known if the illnesses were part of a national outbreak of E. coli that has been linked to the Denver-based chain.
Boston College said several students came to the school's Health Services center and the "common factor" was that all had eaten at the Chipotle restaurant in the Cleveland Circle neighborhood near the BC campus.
The school said it notified the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which is investigating.
"We can confirm that there have been reports of gastrointestinal illness among Boston College students," said Scott Zoback, a spokesman for the public health agency. "We cannot confirm a cause of the illness at this time, but we are coordinating with Boston public health officials to determine the cause."
Zoback said it appears that more than 20 students were affected but an exact number was not available.
Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., said in an email that the Boston restaurant has been closed temporarily while the company works with local health officials to investigate the illnesses among Boston College students.
The company has no evidence to suggest that the incident is related to previous cases, Arnold said, noting that there have been no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.
Chris Cameron, a spokesman for the school's athletics department, said at least eight basketball players reported gastrointestinal symptoms overnight Saturday.
Head Coach Jim Christian said he got a call from two players Sunday morning saying they had food poisoning. One was Dennis Clifford, the team's leading rebounder, who did not play in the Eagles' 68-66 loss Sunday to UMass-Lowell.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak has sickened 52 people in nine states so far, but has not yet identified the ingredient that made people sick.
Chipotle, which has more than 1,900 locations, has said it is adopting stricter food safety standards.
Associated Press writers Jimmy Golen, Candice Choi and Collin Binkley contributed to this report.