Chipotle Under Scrutiny For Food Safety
The restaurant was closed for two days because people said they got sick after eating there - File Photo

Customers at a Chipotle in Dallas, Texas have reported spotting mice in the restaurant. The incident took place days after about 60 people fell ill, with one patron testing positive for norovirus, after eating at a Chipotle in Sterling, Virginia.

"A few mice did get inside one restaurant from the outside due to a small structural gap in the building," Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) spokeswoman Quinn Kelsey said Thursday, 20 July. "Management immediately removed them, and the gap has been repaired."

Diners took video of the mice skittering through the restaurant on Tuesday.

"We've been in touch with our guests to offer our sincere apologies," Kelsey said. "This is an extremely isolated incident, but of course it's not anything we'd ever want our guests to encounter."

A patron said she noticed there were some rodents on the ceiling while she was eating lunch on Tuesday, according to NBC in Dallas Fort-Worth.

"If we would have been sitting at the table next to that it definitely would have fell on top of our food because it was literally right there," Daniela Ornelas told the station.

Earlier, on Monday, the Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc in Sterling, Virginia was closed for two days after customers reported falling sick after eating at the restaurant. It reopened on Wednesday after a 'thorough sanitization'.

"The safety and well-being of our customers is always our top priority," Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that anyone became ill after visiting our restaurant, and when we learned of this issue, we took aggressive action to correct the problem and protect our customers."

Ells also said that the company "provided support" to any customers or employees who had reported illness.

According to media reports, the illness outbreak at Chipotle in Sterling, Virginia, sickened approximately 100 people. The local health department said that it had only identified about 60 people who had eaten at the restaurant and that one of them had tested positive for norovirus.

Dr David Goodfriend, director of Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, said that if another person is tested positive for norovirus, it would be a 'very strong indication' that the virus was behind the illnesses.

"This provides additional information but is not sufficient to determine the cause of the outbreak. The Health Department is awaiting further test results, which should be available early next week," he added.

The restaurant chain has more than 2,200 outlets in the United States. In 2015, hundreds of Chipotle customers were sickened by E. coli and norovirus at about a dozen restaurants. It prompted the chain's first quarterly loss and a four-hour nationwide shutdown for a company- wide cleaning course.