CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pushed back against complaints from Chipotle Mexican Grill that the health agency misinformed the public with its reporting of certain E. coli cases linked to the burrito chain.

The CDC, in a letter to a lawyer representing Chipotle, said it believes its web updates on the outbreaks served to protect and inform the public.

The CDC's response, which was posted online this week and dated April 15, said its updates provided people who may have become sick after eating at Chipotle restaurants with information they might have needed to be diagnosed and treated for E. coli 026, a potentially serious illness.

In December, Chipotle's lawyer said in a letter to the CDC that some of the agency's updates were confusing and unclear and that their release "only acts to create public panic."

On Feb. 1, the CDC said two E.coli outbreaks linked to Chipotle that affected 60 people across 14 states appeared to be over.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Marguerita Choy)