Four hospitalized briefly after food mishap at Glenwood Qdoba on Thursday |

Four hospitalized briefly after food mishap at Glenwood Qdoba on Thursday

The Qdoba Mexican Grill in Glenwood Springs was closed Thursday night after an "isolated incident" in which some food was contaminated by a kitchen chemical and served to customers, sending four to the hospital.
John Stroud/Post Independent

What was described as an “isolated incident” involving contaminated food at the Glenwood Springs Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurant Thursday sent four people to the local emergency room.

Valley View Hospital spokeswoman Ashley Worthington confirmed Friday that four female patients came into the hospital’s ER department Thursday evening with “poison symptoms.”

The patients were treated and discharged that same evening, she said.

According to Michael Scott, owner of the Flavors West franchise company that operates the Glenwood Qdoba, a mistake was made by employees in handling a kitchen chemical.

He did not specify what type of chemical was involved, but said it ended up in one of the food products that was served.

According to Garfield County Public Health’s Consumer Protection Division, two individuals sought treatment at Valley View Hospital after consuming white rice at Qdoba between 4-4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Two additional individuals sought medical care, but did not experience symptoms or consume white rice, according to a statement issued by the county.

“It was an isolated incident … that happened during a shift change, and was caught immediately,” Scott said. “We closed the restaurant and made sure we had control of the situation.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was consulted when it was determined which customers were affected.

Although the toxicity based on the level of chemical dilution was determined to be “very, very minimal,” those who ingested the contaminated food were encouraged to go to the ER, Scott said.

“Our insurance company has been in touch with them,” he said.

The Garfield County Public Health Department was contacted and, after a Friday morning inspection, gave the OK for the restaurant to reopen as scheduled, Scott said.

According to county Public Health Specialist Carrie Godes, Qdoba created an internal report at the time of the incident and properly alerted public health officials.

“The report states that the management team on site corrected the issue immediately and advised all potentially affected guests to discard their food and seek medical attention while they were still at the restaurant,” Godes said in the statement. She confirmed that investigators believe it to be an isolated incident.

“The health department has conducted a site inspection and is working with the establishment to minimize future risks,” according to the county’s statement. “The health department is working with the patrons affected by the incident to ensure that appropriate medical care was received and is coordinating with the state health department.”

Scott added, “We have a long history of exemplary food safety, and obviously are very concerned about our place in the community, our guests and our employees.”

He also said that “appropriate action” was taken with the employees involved.

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