You’ll have to get your taco and burrito fix somewhere else on Monday. Mexican fast food chain Chipotle is closing all locations nationwide until 3pm, to improve food safety. Hundreds of people have been sickened with E. coli, Salmonella, or norovirus in the last year, in nine states.
Luckily for us in New York City and Tri-State Area, no Chipotle locations have been involved in the episodes of funny tummy, but they will be closed anyway so management and staff can get work on the food safety issue.
The outbreaks are bad enough that the US Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation.
And Chipotle has been served with a Federal Grand Jury subpoena to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
The bad news headlines has caused the company’s stock to plummet, along with business, and some poisoning victims are suing. In a press release, the company advised investors that it’s been a “difficult year”.
According to CNN Money, the shutdown is to hold staff meetings about food safety, not to scrub the pots or wash the lettuce.
The outbreaks started last summer, when 64 customers were infected with Salmonella in Minnesota, and 100 more got sick from norovirus in California.
Last fall, an E. coli outbeak sickened more than 50 in nine states.
And just before Christmas, more than 100 students at Boston College got sick with norovirus, and there was another wave of E. coli in three states.
CNBC reports that Chipotle plans to give away more free and steeply discounted food, like their annual $3 Halloween Boo-Rito promotion, in an effort to get customers back into the stores, which could be a risky plan if they haven’t fixed what’s making people sick.
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