By Conor McCue

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– Three people are recovering from E. coli related illnesses after eating at the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews in Westminster. The restaurant is located in the Orchard Town Center off 146th Avenue.

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On Thursday, the restaurant voluntarily closed and Friday morning it remained closed. Tri-County Health officials said the restaurant was being sanitized and employees were undergoing food safety training.

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The critical violations included improper employee hand washing, improper cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation surfaces, and cross contamination between raw meats and other prepared foods.

“I didn’t know anything was going on,” said Nick Robinson, who planned to have lunch at Red Robin with his father. “We saw a few people walk away from the door, then got closer, read the sign, and just realized they’re closed.”

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The Tri-County Health Department said two children and one adult tested positive for the bacteria after telling health officials they ate at the restaurant on July 9. Two of the three people were hospitalized.

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“I think you know that’s always a possibility anywhere, but I’m pretty disappointed that a large corporation wouldn’t be on top of that,” said Norm Robinson.

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A spokesman for Red Robin released the following statement Friday: “Red Robin’s first and foremost priority is the well-being of our Guests and Team Members.

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We recently became aware of a health issue at our Orchard Town Center location in Westminster, Colorado. We believe this is an isolated incident and are working with the Tri County Health department to conduct a thorough investigation at this location.

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We take these concerns very seriously and, as a precaution, have voluntarily closed the location to work with our Team Members to reinforce our food handling and safety protocols. We maintain rigorous food safety standards and procedures nationwide, which comply with the most recent FDA Food Code.”

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Tri-County Health officials are urging people to contact a doctor if they ate at the restaurant since June 1 and feel certain symptoms. Those symptoms include; diarrhea, severe stomach pain, fever, and vomiting.

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Symptoms typically develop within 10 days of eating contaminated food.

Conor McCue

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