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Chipotle Is Free of E. coli

Looks like it’s safe to bite into that burrito.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the outbreak of E. coli illness linked to Chipotle restaurants that sickened 60 people appears to be over.

“We are pleased that the CDC has concluded its investigation, and we have offered our full cooperation throughout,” the company said in a statement. It added that it’s confident that changes in its preparation methods mean all its food is “delicious and safe.”

Although the CDC closed its investigation, the source of the illness that spread to 14 states is still unknown. Chipotle executives say they may never be able to identify what made people sick.

Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. undertook an aggressive revamping of food preparation methods at its more than 1,900 locations. But the outbreak drove the company’s stock down by 26 percent over the past three months and it warned in December of a potentially sizeable hit to profits.

Despite the hit, the company is prepared to reenter the market safely. It has plans to open stores at 3 p.m. local time on Feb. 8 to hold meetings with employees to discuss changes concerning food-safety measures. The chain also plans to increase its marketing and direct-mail offers this month.