Do y’all remember back in November when we reported on Chipotle’s E. Coli outbreak? At first, Seattle, WA and Portland, OR were the only states with reports of customers falling ill after eating at the fast-casual restaurant. But then, we reported that as many as 40 people popped up sick a week later! According to the CDC, there were two in California, two in Minnesota, one in New York, one in Ohio, 13 in Oregon, and 26 in Washington.
Unfortunately, the Regina George of burritos could be shutting down soon if they don’t enforce health food standards. The Feds served Chipotle with papers last month, initiating a criminal investigation. It’s being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration. The New York Daily News reports that the subpoena is requiring Chipotle to disclose documents tied to a restaurant in Simi Valley, CA, which was the source of a norovirus outbreak in August.
In it’s corporate filings, Chipotle stated, “We intend to fully cooperate in the investigation. It is not possible at this time to determine whether we will incur, or to reasonably estimate the amount of, any fines, penalties or further liabilities in connection with the investigation pursuant to which the subpoena was issued.” Well, of course you will, or else there won’t be any more Chipotle!
Daily Mail reports, “Barclays (finance company) analyst Jeffrey Bernstein has noted Chipotle’s recovery may take longer than other chains that have been hurt by foodborne illnesses, because social media has increased people’s awareness of such incidents. He also noted that Chipotle’s ‘Food With Integrity’ slogan makes the E. coli cases all the more damaging.” His findings prove to be very true as these outbreaks have turned a lot of customers off from dining at the restaurant. This past December, Chipotle had announced that quarterly sales had tanked 14.6% and shares had declined 41%
Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold shared what the company was doing in order to create a more healthy environment for its consumers. Here are some changes they are making in the coming weeks:
– Cheese will now arrive in restaurants shredded.
– Ingredients like onions will be macerated with lemon or lime juice to kill germs.
– Sixty samples of every 2,000 pounds of steak will be tested before it’s sent to stores. A similar testing program will be implemented for chicken in coming weeks. Pork and barbacoa beef are already delivered cooked in sealed bags.
– Tomatoes, cilantro and other ingredients will be chopped in centralized locations, rather than in stores, so they can be tested. Chipotle has said in the past that
tomatoes taste better when freshly diced in restaurants.
I’m still not rocking with them. *heads back over to Moe’s* What about you, Roommates?
TSR Intern: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!
Source Cited: http://m.nydailynews.com/news/national/chipotle-subpoenaed-e-coli-outbreak-article-1.2487132, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3386996/Criminal-investigation-underway-Chipotle.html